|I Am A Writer (standard:non fiction, 1077 words)|
|Author: TemptingWhisper||Added: Mar 21 2002||Views/Reads: 1797/1147||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|What does it mean to say that I am a writer?|
Last night I dreamed it again. The never-ending nightmare of terror and tears that have been part of my life for nearly seven years. Seven years of anger, fear, frustration. Can we leave those seven years out of “us”? Can we pretend it didn't happen, hasn't affected me, isn't part of our relationship? No, we cannot, any more than we can shut ‘her' out of our lives. Your ghost and mine. In my dreams I beg him to stop, pleading, crying. In reality I was silent. Can I ever explain my silence, darling? Can you ever understand? The silence of submission. Terror, like all emotions, makes people do strange things. In my case, it paralyzed me, froze me, silenced me. I didn't scream. I did not fight. I let him drag me up under that bridge. I struggled, yes. He did what he did, and then he left my lying there. And in some ways, darling, I lie there still. I prayed. It wasn't the first time or the last, and I can't even say that it was the most fervent. Perhaps I didn't even know what I was praying for, beyond “make it stop”. The more I study philosophy and religion the more it's hammered home to me that I am not the only person to shun God and prayer in the face of suffering. The things that human beings do to each other sicken me. And yet... I am a human being. I am alive. There are days when I'm happy about that. I am many things. Friend, above all else. Daughter, sister, granddaughter, girl-friend. Niece, aunt, student, cousin. These are the relationships. But who am I, WHAT am I? I am a writer. Can that one word describe the entirety of me? The writer who searches for truth, the writer in pursuit of beauty. The writer of love, of sorrow, of anguish, of hope. There are those who would classify themselves first as Christians, Jews, Muslims, who would be horrified that nowhere have I described myself in relation to God. There are others who would insist that I have, that love, truth, beauty, all describe a relationship to God. I disagree. That's my prerogative, I know, as a writer and as a human being. I know what the parish priest, my religion professor, my mother, even good old Soren Kierkegaard would have to say. Do I disagree on the basis of my own religious faith, or in other words my total lack thereof? Perhaps. Have I allowed myself the luxury of dismissing God on some pretext or another, of reading the Bible and attending Mass, growing disgusted and turning away? I hope I haven't. I've dedicated years of my life and thousands of dollars to the study of God, of religions and philosophies, of theology and theodicy and the world's religions. Christ, Moses, Mohammed, Confucius, Lao-Tze, the Buddha - their names roll off my tongue like a litany of old friends. I do not, I will not, dismiss any of them, as human beings with something important to say. I admire, respect, dare I say LOVE these men, and study them with avid interest. I'll call them prophets without any intention of deprecation. I am a writer, which means that I am also a reader. Can anyone who writes not read? Can I list the prophets without including Camus, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Potok, Shakespeare, etc? Of course not. I am a writer. Dare I be so pompous as to call myself, also, a philosopher, a prophet, like those I have just mentioned? Many times I have, without thinking, called myself a poet. Perhaps I am, and perhaps I am not. But it should give a clue as to my priorities that I have an easier time getting around ‘prophet' than ‘poet'. A prophet, in my mind - a definition at which I have arrived, not solely on my own, but with the aid of many such prophets - A prophet is a human being with such great insight into human beings that the future course of human life may be, not predicted, but foreshadowed, like a precursory echo. I am not so self-righteous as to claim that I am such. But I AM so confident, I AM so ambitious, as to say that it is not unreasonable for me to strive towards prophecy. I can feel readers' backs going up, skin prickling. “How dare she?!” Relax. I've no intention of stepping into the slippery mire of religious prophecy. I have little interest and no desire to be the next Hosea, Jeremiah, or Mohammed. How can I prophesy the coming of a God in which I do not believe? Obviously my writing is and may always be filled with religious and philosophical metaphors, themes, references. This is what I study, this is what I know. Click here to read the rest of this story (25 more lines)
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