love, writing & everything in between
April 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
“Promise me one thing?” Eric suddenly stopped walking, grabbing my hands. “Promise me you’ll start writing again. But not for me, work, or any other audience you might have. Write again for yourself because you need to. Don’t lose yourself hun.”
I nodded as he embraced me tightly, doing my darnest to hold back the tears. He was leaving and we knew better than to try anything but say goodbye. Watching him walk away, I chose to smile through the dull, throbbing ache that quietly engulfed me.
I remember the ride back home that night.
I remember the days that followed after.
I remember how he used to look up at me in the middle of whatever it was we were doing, that lazy smile spreading across his face.
I remember it all. But as the days pass, the intensity of what I remember fades, like a painting left out in the hot sun. Pain-filled or beautiful, every memory loses its colour, creating space for new ones. And I’m scared. I don’t want to forget. Who are we but the sum of every moment experienced? What happens when these moments disappear?
I need to remember. I want to remember. This is why I have decided to write again though putting these words down on a blank screen is a struggle. The words aren’t coming easily.
I didn’t date for a while after Eric left. There wasn’t the slightest inclination to do so. We were still chatting occasionally on Skype and I was honestly happy with my life; meeting friends who made me laugh, hanging out with Dean (my foodie-buddie) and hitting the gym.
The contentment with life though, was unsettling. I didn’t want to wake up one day in my 60’s, surrounded by cats and knitting needles, wishing I had a companion.
“I need to start dating again,” I mumbled to Dean, my mouth filled with delicious burger. “I mean, what if I wait so long I forget how to even be with a guy?”
“That’s the way to go!” Dean whooped, “Because these muscles down here… you lose it if you don’t use it girl!”
I rolled my eyes.
“Dean… I’m talking about dates. Not one-night stands,” I reached for my milkshake.
“Yeah, that’s how you start. All I’m saying is, you never know where it leads you. And it’s great to hear you want to get out there again. I’m all for it!” Dean’s enthusiasm always made me laugh.
And that was how I got on Tinder.
Which was where I met George.
Believed I could actually try working at a relationship.
Only to be utterly disappointed again.
The limits of my language means the limits of my world.
― Ludwig Wittgenstein
“I want you to strip away everything you’ve ever memorized about writing. No more idioms, catchy phrases, adjectives you don’t use in daily life… lose all of them,” I explained to my student today. “Write from what you understand, but take care to spend time choosing the perfect word that describes what you see, feel, hear and feel.”
“So I just write what I feel or see in my head?” She really looked confused. Years of being taught to write fanciful prose in hopes of scoring a perfect grade had robbed her of a very important skill – she didn’t know how to frame her thoughts with words.
“I’m not going to grade you. You don’t need to fear failure. Just write,” I encouraged her. “Look for something in the story you can connect with and say what’s important to you. If you don’t have the word that describes what you’re feeling, that’s when you look for it. But it needs to be motivated by what you want to say, and nothing else. Most definitely not your audience nor your grades. That’s fake.”
“Okay, I’ll try that.”
And like her, I say the same thing too.
“Okay, I’ll try that.”
I’ll try stripping away every pretension, the need to impress or be perfect. If clumsiness mars my syntax, forgive me. Writing feels both strange and familiar at the same time. What I long to see appear differs greatly from what I had hoped. One day soon (after much practice and with good timing), I’ll nail it.
Much like love, really.
“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”
I’m writing again, Eric.
I’m keeping my promise.
Not to you, I know. You wouldn’t want that.
But for myself.
I’m writing again.