Before last week and Blogging 101, I hadn’t written on this blog for a long stretch of time. I actually wrote this about two weeks ago and held it in Drafts. I was searching today for something to express my Monday blues feeling, and decided to publish it. I first titled it ‘Ramblings’ because at the time, it seemed like my thoughts refused to come together except in spurts. After my tour around WordPress and seeing that others have done this random thoughts thing successfully, I felt I had blogging license to post such thoughts, in their ad hoc state, ’cause I don’t always have to have it together and readers understand that; and, randomness works on this platform.
So, as I said earlier, I had stopped writing. The challenge to write publicly about private things which hurt you to your soul when you do not use a pseudonym and putting what I felt was negative toxins into the public sphere dissuaded me. There was so much to say, yet I couldn’t, because thoughts of the implications and repercussions of my words on those I would rant about could invade my privacy, and that fear was greater than my need to write. With no other ideas coming to me, but these soul-hurting things I wanted to blurt out, that put me into a quandary. .
My story needed to be told and I yearned and still yearn to tell its unadulterated version, but that strident voice of reasoning, or doubt, depending on what angle you see it from argue with me from a myriad of standpoints: ‘it’s not responsible,’ ‘it’s not wise,’ ‘it’s not Christ-like,’ or ‘it’s fake if you tell the watered down version’. On and on, round and round in my head the debate goes on until the side of me which please others gives in to the pressure.
So, I decided to keep quiet, against the risk of inviting scoffs or recrimination. (Sometimes, your community can be a mean place.) As I wrestled with my fears, I checked names on my subscriber list to see if there are people I know who know me (I don’t worry about those who I don’t interact with daily, it’s those who are in my circle that scare me.) and surreptitiously tried to scrub away the digital footprints of my icky, iffy post past — trashing or changing my privacy settings on posts I felt gave away too much of the muck in my world. I decided not to promote posts through my Facebook Page so my ‘friends’ would not be all up in my business — .even while conscious that one cannot do that successfully, and what’s already out there in someone’s inbox will stay there until they delete it.
Worst than the fear of the snickerers though, is my fear of the silence. You could pour out your most private, inner fears onto this screen, and no one even leaves a comment; the stats bars remain flat.
Or not. I’ve read the blogs of scores of brazen, courageous women who let it all hang out. They speak out about the taboo topics of domestic abuse, their mental illness, their hoohas/ woman’s bits (newest jargon for vagina) secrets, mistakes and fears; they tell it all, unafraid of the stigmas or what anyone wants to think. And they reach others. Overnight their blog stats bars become skyscrapers. They make me believe that there is room for me to get my writing legs and muster up courage to tell my stories.
On days like today, all these sides of the debate rage within me. It’s a struggle to see the silver lining behind the clouds.
But I have to.
So I can write.
Because I am a writer.
And writers must write.
Left Work Behind
I am not working now. I just recently left work behind. At least, temporarily.
I want to become a professional writer. That’s what I want to do in the deep recesses of my soul. Write — novels, articles, posts.
But how do I explain this to family members who depends on me financially that I don’t wan’t to go back to sit behind a desk?
I don’t want to teach in front of a class but from behind my computer. I want to do ministry like I have never done it before, walking the streets visiting with those who are discouraged; sitting and holding the hand of a sick man, woman or child, singing hymns and reading stories for them. I want to serve.
I am no longer happy to just exist on this earth, I want to make a difference. And I want a platform to do it from. I want to advocate on behalf of the abused and unjustly treated. I want to teach inside a prison or delinquency centre for children so the incarcerated may come to know Christ and live empowered lives.
I want to get more of my country and church folk to give more, to volunteer more, to serve in the trenches, in the ghettoes, on the streets, where hope is fading fast for many young men and women.I want to see passion for service resurrected among local politicians, have them hankering to support a cause to help less fortunate children and see love and willingness to sow a seed, to invest their widow’s mite in another’s life , taking a united stand against poverty and the inadequate distribution of wealth in my society.
I want shoes to put on the feet of the boys of Sunbeam Home. I want uniforms for nine year old boys looking for khakis who have tried the cast downs from the church clothes bank and found none to fit; I want books to put in the hands of children whose parents can’t afford it.
I want to be able to ask rich corporations for aid and not be directed to their foundation where I am told that they have specific charities that they give to, or don’t even respond at all.
I want to get across to Jamaicans that their littering habit has to stop.That pollution of our beautiful beaches and waterways will cost us all; get through to the thick skulls of grown men and women that throwing food packaging at their feet or through a car window when driving and storing junk around their homes contribute to epidemics like Chikumgunya and dengue fever; to make garbage collectors aware that not collecting garbage on time contributes to pests and pollution.
I want to start a revolution.
in my church
In my family
in my community
in my society.
I don’t know if I have the courage to lead a revolution from a public platform,
but can I start one from behind this silver screen?
Can my feeble words resonate with another recluse rebel somewhere out there who feels like me?
Frustrated with a need to make a difference but held back by fear. I don’t want to be a heroine. Just want enough courage to be able to get up off this couch and act — do something about my life; do something rather than talk or write about it.
But even as I write this, my fear voice tries to convince me that I do not have what it takes. Who will listen to you,? You, with with your confusion, who can’t always put a coherent thought together. You, a procrastinator, how will you overcome your fear of failure, fluctuating self-confidence. . . trust yourself enough to get others to trust you?
I can’t answer those questions. I’m just going to write when I have something to say, and put aside niches and such things that puts me in a box and prevent me from putting my hands on this keyboard.
So some days, I’ll write without rhyme or reason, pace or seam; to vent my fury at injustice, mutter about a random idea flitting about in my head; on some days, I’ll stop to smell the roses and ignore the thorns; express gratitude for my half cup of blessings.
I’ll just write, because as one of my favourite bloggers wrote recently: I would hate myself if I didn’t.
So, for today, I will write from behind my private screen where I can safely say what I have to say and be courageous enough to press the Publish button and hear silence. Not a soul responding to my ramblings. Or, probably, hopefully not.
I can get lost in a crowded blogosphere, permitted to write nonsense and not worry about who reads it. Secure in my distance; but yearning to be heard. To make sense to someone, another weird soul out there in the wilderness behind this white screen.