It is 11:16 pm. I wish it were raining, because Julien Baker sings through my headphones. And pelting water droplets would blend with her croony electric guitar.
I've been soaking up a lot of talk about art lately, about what makes art beautiful is how one creates within confines. It sounds like being locked in a box, and I think it is but it also is not. You are given guidelines, and there is beauty based on how you work and tweak them. There are rules, but you are free.
These days are cloudy. The clouds are web content-- social media. So many blogs. I suppose it is a beautiful thing that if people have words to say, there is a platform readily available for them to say those things. But maybe the art is no longer there. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't know.
I know I love to write. I strive to stray from cliche by a long shot. It is not fiction and it is not self-help. It's my life and what I learn to be true and the questions I repeatedly ask. It is a great send-off, from me to the world, hoping someone's eyes will scan my words, and in turn that same someone's heart will feel less alone. It is for me and it is for them and only small handfuls of my words ever make it past my own paper.
I write about writing more often than I imagined I would. I don't know what I imagined, actually. Not this, not any of this. And I suppose I have quietly questioned for awhile now about what it is to be a "Christian writer". Is that my title? Can I be just a writer who is a Christian? Sometimes it all seems so cheesy and I feel so wrong thinking that about words some of my brothers and sisters write. It can feel preachy and teachy and I just don't want to be that. And I think maybe that's ok?
I want feelings, grand sweeping ones and inaudible unsure ones. I want to hear the songs and see the pictures, crackly like a faded memory while also vivid as if being lived brightly.
Like Betsy. She is a girl I have never met, and most likely, maybe, will never meet. She wrote an instagram caption that made my heart slow and still. Her words are living and beautiful. I want to write like that. Like me, but like that.
I write for You and for you and for me. Words are a gift and they are powerful. 'Mere words- a subtle magic, clear and vivid and terrible. They give form to the formless.' Of all I hated about The Picture of Dorian Gray, that [paraphrased] passage was not one of them. I found it real and true and felt the weight of speaking and of writing and knew all of it mattered.
I have two minutes before the page will cut off and force me to stop. I got caught up with listening closely to Julien Baker and also talking to Jess, who has become a good and fast friend. We talk about music and God and awkward moments we live in. And we laugh often. I am glad I know her.
I tell many people I am glad to know them, that I wouldn't be who I am without them. I hope with all of me that it doesn't sound rehearsed or not genuine because every single time I mean it whole heartedly. Words, mere words. They matter. I do too.
written w/ these songs in my ears or in my mind:
I'm On Fire - The Staves
Alive - Corey Kilgannon
Dark Days - Local Natives
Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker
Waste A Moment - Kings of Leon