Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Reader

This is a blog entry.

I don’t normally treat my blog as a blog.  I treat it as a place to post rough drafts of literary essays that I’m working on.  Today, however, I shall treat it like a blog.  I will address the reader.  I will write like a person, not like a person who writes. 

I will say that I know that some of you who will read this have been reading my writing since I was seventeen years old (a couple of you, even longer).  I will say that I remember when I used to post my writing on Facebook as a Facebook note and you would comment on it or email me about it.  I will say that even getting just a couple responses from a couple people who I would never have expected to read my writing – much less engage me in a conversation about it – may have helped to change my life (for the better, for the best).

I will say that many of you, each in your own time and way, have told me that you like to live vicariously through my writing – through the bold moves I make in my life and through the literal moving I do as I wander the world from one country to the next.  And I would like to tell you that while you may live vicariously through my writing, you also live with me in each place I go – on my mind and in my heart.  I keep you packed in that – my heart – the heaviest carry-on item I ever travel with.

I would like to say that I remember each of our conversations on the nature of happiness and love and time.  I would like to say that they helped me and that I if you read closely, you can see the result of those conversations in my writing – in my life.  I would like you to know that I am living the question.[1] I would like you to know that sometimes, when I meet someone new and I am talking to them, telling them about myself or just telling them my thoughts on life, sometimes you are the subtext.  When I tell a story that illustrates the fact that I have grown up to find courage and faith within myself, the subtext of the story is that our interactions – yours and mine – were part of what helped me find it. 

And while I say this to you, I say this to myself as well.  I say it in attempt to remind myself that things are not quite as I wrote them as being in my last entry.  I may have left towns and friends and countries; I may have lost time and touch.  But I didn’t forget.  I never unpacked my suitcase heart.  And I am not as alone as I may characterize myself as being.  I’ve been with you -- in coffee shops and campgrounds, small town pizzerias and paths high up in the Alps.  And when I am not with you, you are with me – in an anecdote I tell to the boy I’m falling for as we sit at an Italian restaurant on the French Riviera or in my notebook as I ride the night train on my way back from Paris. 

And I say this now to comfort myself, to reassure myself that though partings hurt - and though sometimes the best memories can become the heaviest burdens to bear – that when the next round of partings comes to pass, as it inevitably will and as it inevitably always does, I will be okay.  I will not lose myself to nostalgia any more than I must as a self-reflective writer.  I will pack up my suitcase heart, expanding it evermore to make room for these new necessities that may very well become old friends and flames but will never mean any less than they do right now.  And I will count myself lucky because, as a writer, I have the ability to taste life twice – in the moment and in retrospect.[2]  I will see you again on the page.  I will see the look in your eyes that I never learned how to read.  I will see tan skin and black stubble, a smile that made me comfortably uncomfortable and a raised eyebrow that told me you knew what I was thinking and that you liked it.  We will talk again on the page.  You will tell me once again that travel becomes an anecdote that we slip into our lives and on the page – only on the page – I will tell you that you’re right.  And I will tell you, only on the page, precisely what I was thinking every time you asked me what I was thinking and I said “Nothing.” 

And now, as a close to this blog entry, let me thank you all for reading and for giving me something to write about.

[1] Rainer Maria Rilke
[2] Anais Nin