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October 31, 2005

Writing about Life

Words about life tend to be like photo snapshots of life. I like writing. But sometimes I feel that words written down on a page are not real. They especially don't feel alive anymore once put out there to read. I think it's because words, just like a snapshot can never show the entire picture. There is so much to life that to begin to describe it is to fail to describe the rest of it.
When I have an experience and write about it, there are hundreds more experiences I am not writing about.
This is one reason why it's so important to not judge other people based on one impression, or even two impressions, or three. This is why it's important to get to know people before coming to any conclusions. We often discover that the 'other person' really is just another human being trying to figure out life, just like we are.
When I sit down and write about a situation, it is also just one situation out of many that might be going on in my life or someone else's. It's not a complete picture. I can pick out one bad event each day for two weeks and complain about them in my blog entries and it would seem like I've had a horrible two weeks but still go home each day and watch movies, work in the garden, play with my dog, eat great meals with my family, read a good book, write and have all kinds of wonderful experiences. A snapshot is not nearly lifelike, though it may be a good picture of a moment in time.
Today I was looking through old blog entries I've written, trying to pick out a few good ones to rework into my next issue of the "Attitudes" Zine. I'm looking for things that might be interesting to read that convey a sense of purpose in life, of love and hope. Then I realized that many of the things that I've written about seem empty and hollow when I am so distant from the experience that prompted the writing. I believe it's because once I put the words down, they are no longer alive. This is kind of the meaning of the 'Living Word of God.' God's words are life and love and hope in practice. We put the words to paper and it's a snapshot of the real thing. Our love for each other cannot be in word only. It has to be in action. This is the living word that is not hollow and empty. Because it's life, not just writing about a part of life.
I don't have anything magical or insightful or full of wisdom to teach anyone that they don't already know about life. For one thing I cannot live life for another person and their experiences are not going to be the same as mine. But I can tell you that your experiences are as real as mine. I love life and love other people. That's who I am. To me that is very hopeful. I like this part of my life.
When I went to the movie the other night with Tom, that was equally interesting to me as the movie itself. I didn't write too much about my experience with Tom mainly because I have limited time and can't write about everything that happens in a day. But to me it was equally important part of my day and maybe more meaningful than the movie. For instance when we saw the part of the movie where the kids were being abandonded and abused, Tom started growling. No kidding. I asked him what was wrong. He was just reacting to the movie in that way and was feeling the impact of what was going on. It was deeply effecting him. He was reacting in a very primal way. At other times he was lost by the movie, and it meant nothing to him. Tom lives in a tent and only has a few posessions. He gets around by bicycle or bus. He doesn't even have a driver's licence. Tom may have a rough exterior but I know his heart is in the right place when it comes to abuse. His heart growls in displeasure and it escapes through his lips. My words about the movie almost meant nothing compared to Tom's reaction at that moment. Living life and experiences it is much more real and vivid than any words can be. It's like that with the living word also. We can say whatever we want and even mean it, but living the words is so much more real and vivid. Alive.

Posted by carl1236 at October 31, 2005 10:01 PM | Love your Neighbor | ZINE


My 3YO daughter gets very emotional watching movies. It sounds like Tom hasn't lost that. How great to be able to really feel things like that...

Posted by: nathan at November 4, 2005 10:52 AM