I’ve been grossly neglecting my blog lately. Some of that has to do with revisiting the content of my postings and discovering that maybe I don’t want to share everything with the unknown universe. I’ve been considering what I post a lot more closely now before I write anything. The written word is dangerous and powerful and previously I’ve tossed it around like confetti without realizing that each letter was as deadly as a throwing knife.
So, for awhile now, I’ve taken to written writing. That phrase just sounds like a paradox of things, but I do find pen and ink soothing.
In yesterdays, I may have found that writing suitable to share with you, dear reader, but no more. Some things are better kept to the self. It’s definitely damaged my writing, however. Long handed inking takes time and patience that I do not generally have. The result of all this is that I’ve not been so mindful about writing at all.
As an aspiring novelist, that has set my career back God only knows how much time. I’ve decided that I won’t lose precious moments like that anymore. Despite the pain in my wrist and an unsettling case of writer’s block.
I’ve decided to try something new. I’m calling it my “letter a day campaign” and my hope is that it’ll bring back my muse as well as provide some much needed self-reflection.
The art of handwritten letters died out so long ago. It’s been replaced by e-mail and text messaging; things so impersonal, but also so convenient that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to exchange letters. The anticipation of knowing that you’ve dropped your deepest thoughts off into the post box for another to read and respond is incomparable to the moments spent waiting for an e-mail that doesn’t take the consideration or thought of written word.
Some of this doesn’t apply to my campaign. The purpose of the “letter a day campaign” isn’t to write letters to others, though I hope to branch out into that. The first … phase … for lack of better terminology, is to write myself a letter every day and seal it. I’ll open it a year to the date later. It’s about self-reflection and understanding.
365 letters. The campaign begins today.
…you realize that your blog is on the world wide web and the professional world (your boss included) is reading or has read every stupid thing you’ve ever posted. And then you have to explain that you’re an idiot who does dumb and embarrassing things for dumb and embarrassing reasons.
At least he thinks I’m a good writer…
“It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock of the previous twelve months so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in the coming twelve months. Which, of course, you won’t. You’ll make them over and over again.
That, my friend, is what they call history. And if you are old enough to be reading this column, you are old enough to have history. They say that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. What they don’t tell you is that those who do study history are also doomed to repeat it — the difference is that they know they’re repeating it.
What I look forward to every new year is a fresh crop of new mistakes. Sure, I’ll repeat the old ones, but the great thing about life is the capacity for surprise. That is what you call history in the making.
With the new year right around the corner, lets crane our necks backward for one last look at the year just past to see what mistakes others have committed. Maybe we can learn from them.
But mistakes aren’t the only things from which we can learn. We learn, too, from accomplishment…and last year was distinguished by both great accomplishments and great mistakes.
Given that, we have a lot to learn in the coming year.”
“Please don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression I’m secure and that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name, coolness my game, that water is calm and I’m in command and that I need no one, but don’t believe me, please don’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth, but my surface is a mask–my every varying and ever concealing mask. Beneath it dwells the real confusion, fear and aloneness. Beneath lies my smugness, my complacently, but I hide this–I don’t want anyone to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically created a mask to hide behind– nonchalant sophisticated facades to help me pretend– to shield me from the glance that knows– but such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it. That is if it’s followed by acceptance. If it’s followed by love, it’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self built prison walls and from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, that I’m really worth while, but I don’t tell you this, I don’t dare–I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me and you’ll laugh and your laugh will kill me. I’m afraid that deep down, I’m nothing and that I’m just no good and that you’ll see this and reject me.”
Don’t Be Fooled by Me, Charles C. Finn