Thursday, December 30, 2004

DISCLAIMER...

I’m writing a post that I hope to put up later tonight, so I can have it out of my system before the New Year starts. It’s the result a tough couple of months, and contains no discernible humor or references to Madonna’s obsession with Kabbalah. It’s a totally different beast.

The last time I posted something personal, my brother suggested that I take it down, not because it was about him or my family, but because he thought that it shouldn’t be out there, proclaiming my darker side for anyone (who might Google me before a blind date, for instance) to see. I was then at the beginning of forging my blog-identity, and saw his point. I took it down. (No one missed it.) And this piece may be even darker.

Over the last few months, there has been a barrage of bad news: young people in their twenties die on foreign soil, during war, and in our local communities, men and women in their twenties and thirties fall victim to undiagnosed and unexpectedly fatal ailments. Add a few terrorist attacks and an earthquake/tsunami combo platter of destruction that somehow seems even more random than a suicide bombing and claims over a hundred thousand individual lives, and you’ll understand that this world is far from being a shiny, happy place. War’s responsible for some of it, and it’s easy to blame the government or terrorists for acts of violence, whether they’re legislated in the name of freedom or subversive in service to chaos. But dealing with the randomness of illness and the inescapability of natural disasters was too much. Safety was a myth. I started writing because I really didn’t know what else to do.

In talking with a friend about these issues, I expressed reluctance to publish what I was working on. She encouraged me to go public, revealing that she’d been feeling the same intricate, rootless kind of funk that I had been experiencing; maybe blogging about it would help us both and give voice to others who might be feeling something similarly hopeless and unnamable.

My goal isn’t to make anyone cry. It’s to try to find the meaning within the great futility, to find that one thing that makes all the pain bearable, because there’s happiness and meaning to be found—somewhere, if not here. Maybe it’s to reach that other person who doesn’t have the words to describe why this season has been so hard. Maybe it’s to tell him or her that he or she is not alone.

Once you read it, I hope you’ll see it’s not a cry for help, or an announcement of some well of depression I can’t climb out of. It’s a discussion, an exploration of faith and meaning. And it’s not a discussion that I feel is over. In fact, maybe one of you holds an answer I’ve not yet considered.

Most of the time, my writing angles toward humor. And it will again, probably sooner than anyone might expect after reading this next post. But this, the exploratory search for meaning through unanswerable questions, is another part of my balance as a writer. It’s raw. It’s risky. And I hope everyone, even my family, will understand.

Stay tuned. (Or skip the next post. Totally up to you.)

8 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger Plantation said...

E, Sheesh, the disclaimer was dire enough. Can't wait to see the real thing! In all seriousness, you don't have to apologize or disclaim anything. You're right, it's part of being balanced. I leave you with, what else. Verse from song (and yes, bible too!)

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

 
At 10:51 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger BarryDubya said...

I'm very much looking forward to your next post, no matter how dark and raw it may be. One of the reasons you write and we read is because as a writer, you're able to put into words ideas/thoughts/feelings that the rest of us whithout your particular talent can't. And I think, as a result, we all end up the better for it. And I think as a writer, you need to be fearless and not worry about how your audience might perceive you in a negative light. That goes especially for a guy you might meet on a date. If the guy is right for you he'll a) appreciate your writing ability and b) feel the same way and may even be greatful that you've voiced your shared feelings in an intelligent/articulate way.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

Looking forward to what's next...

 
At 11:57 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger Gatsby said...

"But what a shining animal is man,
Who knows, when pain subsides, that is not that,
For worse than that must follow — yet can write
Music; can laugh; play tennis; even plan."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Good luck working through this.

 
At 12:58 AM, December 31, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please publilsh it ASAP. No matter how heartrendingly tragic is, it can't be more painful than having to endure the full lyrics of "Turn, Turn, Turn" in the comments section.
Haven't we all suffered enough?

 
At 1:00 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger PetiteDov said...

There must be something in the air, this funk that so many of us are feeling and dealing with. I am a big believer of writing through the pain and adversity. I am anticipating your next post, blog on dear Esther. Sending you a virtual hug and kiss. (And wishing your New Year to be filled with warmth and loved ones (or at least lots of good alcohol).)

 
At 2:08 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger Judi Singleton said...

I have stopped focusing on global tragedy. I give to relief agencies that can help these bigger failings of man. For me the only person I have control over is me and to change me to bring joy, love and peace to my world is as much as I can hope to accomplish. I encourage you to work through this funk in writing. We will all be better for having shared our stories. Come visit me at Ryze,http://jl-network.ryze.com/Or http://judisingleton1998.blogspot.com/atom.xml Judi

 
At 2:19 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger Sarah said...

Very much looking forward to the post.

Supporting you 100 percent.

 
At 9:19 AM, December 31, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the post, also. I know we approach this whole blogging-thing differently, but I think it's terrible if we feel too big a chasm between what we post and other things we want to talk about. I think there is an inbetween - you can tell people how you feel without giving everything away. Good luck!
(deb/smitten)

 

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My Urban Kvetch: DISCLAIMER...

Thursday, December 30, 2004

DISCLAIMER...

I’m writing a post that I hope to put up later tonight, so I can have it out of my system before the New Year starts. It’s the result a tough couple of months, and contains no discernible humor or references to Madonna’s obsession with Kabbalah. It’s a totally different beast.

The last time I posted something personal, my brother suggested that I take it down, not because it was about him or my family, but because he thought that it shouldn’t be out there, proclaiming my darker side for anyone (who might Google me before a blind date, for instance) to see. I was then at the beginning of forging my blog-identity, and saw his point. I took it down. (No one missed it.) And this piece may be even darker.

Over the last few months, there has been a barrage of bad news: young people in their twenties die on foreign soil, during war, and in our local communities, men and women in their twenties and thirties fall victim to undiagnosed and unexpectedly fatal ailments. Add a few terrorist attacks and an earthquake/tsunami combo platter of destruction that somehow seems even more random than a suicide bombing and claims over a hundred thousand individual lives, and you’ll understand that this world is far from being a shiny, happy place. War’s responsible for some of it, and it’s easy to blame the government or terrorists for acts of violence, whether they’re legislated in the name of freedom or subversive in service to chaos. But dealing with the randomness of illness and the inescapability of natural disasters was too much. Safety was a myth. I started writing because I really didn’t know what else to do.

In talking with a friend about these issues, I expressed reluctance to publish what I was working on. She encouraged me to go public, revealing that she’d been feeling the same intricate, rootless kind of funk that I had been experiencing; maybe blogging about it would help us both and give voice to others who might be feeling something similarly hopeless and unnamable.

My goal isn’t to make anyone cry. It’s to try to find the meaning within the great futility, to find that one thing that makes all the pain bearable, because there’s happiness and meaning to be found—somewhere, if not here. Maybe it’s to reach that other person who doesn’t have the words to describe why this season has been so hard. Maybe it’s to tell him or her that he or she is not alone.

Once you read it, I hope you’ll see it’s not a cry for help, or an announcement of some well of depression I can’t climb out of. It’s a discussion, an exploration of faith and meaning. And it’s not a discussion that I feel is over. In fact, maybe one of you holds an answer I’ve not yet considered.

Most of the time, my writing angles toward humor. And it will again, probably sooner than anyone might expect after reading this next post. But this, the exploratory search for meaning through unanswerable questions, is another part of my balance as a writer. It’s raw. It’s risky. And I hope everyone, even my family, will understand.

Stay tuned. (Or skip the next post. Totally up to you.)

8 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger Plantation said...

E, Sheesh, the disclaimer was dire enough. Can't wait to see the real thing! In all seriousness, you don't have to apologize or disclaim anything. You're right, it's part of being balanced. I leave you with, what else. Verse from song (and yes, bible too!)

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

 
At 10:51 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger BarryDubya said...

I'm very much looking forward to your next post, no matter how dark and raw it may be. One of the reasons you write and we read is because as a writer, you're able to put into words ideas/thoughts/feelings that the rest of us whithout your particular talent can't. And I think, as a result, we all end up the better for it. And I think as a writer, you need to be fearless and not worry about how your audience might perceive you in a negative light. That goes especially for a guy you might meet on a date. If the guy is right for you he'll a) appreciate your writing ability and b) feel the same way and may even be greatful that you've voiced your shared feelings in an intelligent/articulate way.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

Looking forward to what's next...

 
At 11:57 PM, December 30, 2004, Blogger Gatsby said...

"But what a shining animal is man,
Who knows, when pain subsides, that is not that,
For worse than that must follow — yet can write
Music; can laugh; play tennis; even plan."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Good luck working through this.

 
At 12:58 AM, December 31, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please publilsh it ASAP. No matter how heartrendingly tragic is, it can't be more painful than having to endure the full lyrics of "Turn, Turn, Turn" in the comments section.
Haven't we all suffered enough?

 
At 1:00 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger PetiteDov said...

There must be something in the air, this funk that so many of us are feeling and dealing with. I am a big believer of writing through the pain and adversity. I am anticipating your next post, blog on dear Esther. Sending you a virtual hug and kiss. (And wishing your New Year to be filled with warmth and loved ones (or at least lots of good alcohol).)

 
At 2:08 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger Judi Singleton said...

I have stopped focusing on global tragedy. I give to relief agencies that can help these bigger failings of man. For me the only person I have control over is me and to change me to bring joy, love and peace to my world is as much as I can hope to accomplish. I encourage you to work through this funk in writing. We will all be better for having shared our stories. Come visit me at Ryze,http://jl-network.ryze.com/Or http://judisingleton1998.blogspot.com/atom.xml Judi

 
At 2:19 AM, December 31, 2004, Blogger Sarah said...

Very much looking forward to the post.

Supporting you 100 percent.

 
At 9:19 AM, December 31, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the post, also. I know we approach this whole blogging-thing differently, but I think it's terrible if we feel too big a chasm between what we post and other things we want to talk about. I think there is an inbetween - you can tell people how you feel without giving everything away. Good luck!
(deb/smitten)

 

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