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I Am A Writer (standard:non fiction, 1077 words)
Author: TemptingWhisperAdded: Mar 21 2002Views/Reads: 1797/1147Story 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 

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. 

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