Time and again I face this question within myself: Why do I blog? This blog was never meant to be a catalog of my life; for that I have my journal. It was never meant to 'make friends' either. Or share thoughts or feelings. Or 'interactively ponder' on anything.
I am too self-centered, in a very literal sense, for that. Does any of us (any of 'Us') really care what anyone else thinks, about what we think?
More than that, I think I am too possesive about myself, my thoughts, my soul, my words, my 'self', to be able to share casually. Maybe too arrogant to share easily.
Originally, it was just meant to be a place where I could practise my writing, and that purpose it has served. I write much less capriciously now. I can spit out something on random topics on command, better and more than I could before. I can bear my words to be seen, to be judged, to be touched by unseen, unknown, un-cared for hands. I have come a short distance from the artist who would rather burn his canvas, than let anyone see it; because narcissitically, he couldnt bear to share it with anyone else.
Yet, when you write, truely madly deeply, you inevitably borrow nuances from your life and yourself for your craft. Once its out there, and you see bits and pieces of your self scattered on the canvas, for all to see; And, when your audience, ignore the canvas and look at you, talk to you, in bits and pieces, seeing you as the blind men see the elephant; And when he who looks at the canvas, thinks that you had been talking to him, instead of to yourself, and to the voices; Once you see that, it gives you the creeps, no other way of saying it.
Its your Art that you are offering to share, not yourself; But in extending it, you hold out a part of yourself, which is grabbed, instead of the Art and you feel trapped, sullied, violated.
Yet, its probably an inevitable price that you have to pay to satiate this craving, this hunger, to paint, to create, and to yes, I will not lie, to have it seen. Its probably as old as time and universal to Art. In Immortality, Kundera makes Hemmingway complain to Goethe about it, in their posthomus conversation (‘Instead of reading my books, they're writing books about me’). Vincent wrote letters to Theo about it (I am still looking for those letters, by the way, The collection of letters between Van Gogh and his brother Theo)
Thats not where the conflict is. It is between the self and the words; and it is between the words and the audience.
The conflict between the self and the words is like the slip between the cup and the lip. Sometimes, I have no clear objective in mind and my words are just like meandering footsteps in random directions. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to say but am grappling with the 'How'. But the worst times are when you have this clear certainity of 'What' and 'How' you want to say, but after you have written it down and it has been read and commented on, you realise what was percived, or gotten across is something completely different.
This can be due to one of 2 reasons. Either the reader didnt really care enough, to read and understand what you were trying to say. Or, you could not form, in words, precisely and neatly enough, what exactly you had thought. The former is not my problem and doesnt ineterest me. The latter, is what I care about. But hopefully, if you keep writing and getting feedback, it will sharpen your expression. Infact, the more mindless or heedless your readers are, the better practise you will get, because, at the end of the day, its upto you to get your point across, irrespective. Its like rowing with a bad coach, or or practising your golf without proper grounds: In a way, the harder it is, the better you will learn.
As for the conflict between the words and the readers, does anyone ever really read what you write? Does anyone really take in what you are trying to say, or even want to know? Does anyone actually see what you create? Maybe one or two. The rest just scan through the words looking for the scattered bits of yourself, trying to find windows to your soul, your self. Vultures. Soul collectors. Ugly, voyeuristic, greedy, vulgar and Human.
Do they, for example, when they read (or watch) Henry and June, read the poetry, the lyrical flow, the magic of words and pictures? Or do they look for Nin in the pages (or on the screen)? Trapped, helpless, a victim of her need to create? Do they want the poetry? See the colours? Seek the Art? Or do they just look for the Person?
And most of all, does it matter? What why how? You write. People read. Or does even that matter? A hundred years from now, even if you master the craft and write great tomes, which say it all and precisely, neatly, cleanly; will it matter a million years from now? And a voice says yes. There are still dreams worth your aspiration. There are still thoughts to be explored, Meanings to be hunted down, Truths to be found and it all to be written down. You may never reach it, but there are heights to be dreamed of and distances worth straining your eyes into the horizon towards, even though you die on the way, too small, too insignificant, in your frail humanity to walk with the Giants, there are still paths they trod, that you too can walk on.
Originally Posted at Prerona.