Every living breathing soul, has something to say. Immaterial of how irrelevant or how profound. We draw on experiences, observations and opinions we wish to express. For most of us, there is an innate need to verbalise internally or externally our feelings, our thoughts, our processes and these in turn are what motivates us to lay down these thoughts, even if from poignant moments in our life.
Todays WP Prompt for Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day 1 ‘I Write Because …‘ over a period of time, naturally the reasons why we write are bound to evolve, but today for me, I write because …
I write to release these random thoughts and images that swim through my mind. Scenes that take flight and I sometimes have the desire to make sense of or have a need to record these moments or history. I write because of poignant moments in my life that have shaped me, brought me down, elated me or propelled me forward.
I have an ex husband who throughout most of our 9 odd years of marriage, dismissed everything I had to say. Yes. I do take some responsibility in that I am far too trusting. I believe the good in people and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I was, as the cliche goes, blinded by love. Blinded by the amazing family he had and therefore believed this beautiful gene carried over to the amazing man I had met. As the sad story goes, in the beginning he was charming like most men. Portrayed himself to be a gentleman, considerate, caring, honest, thoughtful and fun. He listened when I spoke, took to heart what I said. Yet as marriage day came and went and we settled into a new home, a new country, a new life, this man that I thought I knew, became a stranger. A hurtful, dismissive, selfish, uncaring human being. Who lost the time to listen when I spoke. Dismissed my banter, dismissed my advice, dismissed my general conversation and would instead relish it from others. And so as the years went by, I found I lost my voice in the process. It seemed irrelevant. I seemed irrelevant. I lost my voice vocally. I lost my voice on paper. I lost myself. I just lost. Period.
In the beginning, his words to me were a delirious drug. Inviting, exciting, stimulating, comforting. In the end, his words to me became a weapon. A sinister knife, slicing through me. And I lost my will to fight back and forgot about seeing the beauty of life around me as I always did. Lost my talent to portray in words the wonders that surround us. The life I saw around me. The beauty I saw around me.
Sadly but thankfully years later that chapter is now closed and I found life again through photography. At first, it was an ally to slip away into another world. The word I saw through a lens breaking down a scene before me. Finding beauty in the little mundane things and soon this grew into a surreal world where I could express again life and delight in objects and places all around us and I found my voice again to express what these locations mean to me. The life I saw at the time. The life I envisioned might have been years ago when I’m photographing an abandoned place. I imagine happiness flowing through a space in time. Life seeping through walls. And I wonder what that same image or location will be like a decade from now.
And so I write, because I’m fascinated with life that was, that is and will be. Words are my way to articulate the bazaar throughs and scenes that enter my mind sporadically. Sometimes there aren’t words to express what I’m feeling or seeing, but I generally aim to give it a damn good shot at articulating my surroundings. To help others see beauty and life and possibility in the everyday. To appreciate capturing memories on film, in words. Because at the end of the day when all is lost, we shall always have memories etched in our minds and if we’re lucky, those memories have been expressed verbally and on paper or in a photograph for preservation many years down the line and history remains alive.
And yes, this might seem to most like a minimalist action, but it resonates with me because of my own experience. I see friends around me with history pronounced throughout their home, on their social media, in their conversation and I look back on mine and realised how little mine I have. And this too is why I write.
I have or had a brother, now deceased some 20 years ago, and the tangible items I have of him don’t even fill a quarter of a shoe box. I have less than half a dozen hand written letters we wrote to each other while he was in the army and maybe a dozen photos of the few years I knew of his existence and whilst I shall treasure those for the rest of my living days, I’m always filled with a sense of sadness that I don’t have more. Never found out more, only realising the importance of history too late.
My father, roaming somewhere on this earth, I haven’t seen in almost 2 decades and I have 2 photos of him, scanned copies at that, that have definitely seen better days and the ragged scratches that reside diagonally and horizontally across those images are ironically representative of our life together, Sever. Jagged. Eventful. Explosive. Yet it was a life, whilst intense, was filled with love and I remember it all with fondness, even the bad.
And so again, I write because there is always something to express, and I allow it to percolate for a period. I see so much around me, especially through the lens of my camera and it tells a story, sometimes of heartbreak, sadness, desolation, life, happiness, love, new beginnings. But there’s always a story. And that story sometimes it worth articulating aloud. Whether vocally or on paper. And so my advice to anyone who’s ever had their words or their voice suppressed by society, by a loved one, by culture or an environment. Find a means to move past it. Find your happy place. Even if only for yourself, because it’s elating to a degree. A place where you find comfort, find peace, find answers and reason or sometimes life and decisions remain elusive, but never underestimate the benefit of purging those words on paper, whether in your own personal diary, a website,blog or a memoir.
I’ve discovered months or years later, I might recount tales I wrote down that made no sense at the time and provided me no comfort, but now make somewhat sense and I can draw strength on them to make different decisions, or the same decisions but go about them in a different manner. So I urge you to find your happy place and purge on paper. My such happy place turned to be a camera and that spills over into my voice, be it on paper.