The semester has come to a close. I have hours to read, write, spend time with friends and family, bake, and do whatever else comes to mind. My days are free to plan and enjoy and relax. I should be blogging every day, sharing with you all the things I’ve wanted to say for months but haven’t had time to flesh out.
But with all this time on my hands, I’m fresh out of ideas. The normally overflowing fountain ideas that threatens to push away school and overtake all my free time if I would let it has suddenly been stopped up. It’s not that I don’t have ideas to write about. I’ve written a few posts that I’ve scrapped, I’ve journaled, I’ve written quite a bit in dialogue with my roommate via Facebook (many of these on interesting and deep topics). But I haven’t yet found something worth posting here.
I know I should write. I know I should put my words out for people to read, to critique, to interact with me. But I don’t know what to write. Of all the words I’ve written since school let out, I can’t find any that I actually want to post. Some don’t dig deep enough into what I’m thinking about. Some dig too deep and are far too personal to share with the world. I’ve tried writing about tragedy, about joy, about life. But everything is too little or too much. Nothing is, like the proverbial Baby Bear’s porridge, “just right.”
I suppose it doesn’t matter though. The purpose of writing isn’t really perfection. It’s humanity. I write to bare my soul. I write to think. I write to share my thoughts and my soul with other people. That doesn’t mean I share all of my soul with everyone. Some things are written only for me. Some are written for a handful of close friends. Some are for my professors. (Yes, I find ways to bare my soul even in assigned essays). And a select few of my musings are posted here, for the world to see a piece of my soul.
But what makes my soul so special? Why should anyone take the time to read something that reveals who I really am? And I wrestle with posting this because it all sounds so egotistical. Yet… I don’t write just to throw my soul out into the world. I write to connect with people. In high school, I wrote an essay about a little boy I knew. It was a creative piece, and the assignment required me to describe just a small moment of time. I poured everything I could into that short piece. I really didn’t care what grade I got on the paper, as long as my teacher connected with what I wrote. I wrote it for him. Because he was taking the time to read about my life, so I wrote in a way that he might fully experience that moment with the little boy, if only through the words on the page.
Even now, in college, I write with as much of me as possible. Professors often give me great discretion in choosing paper topics, so I find something that matters to me. And I write in such a way that I hope will make my topic matter to them. Deeply matter. I want them to connect with what I write.
A week ago, I bared my soul more deeply than usual. I wrote about the life and legacy of Charles Wingfield. I wrote about a remarkable man who impacted so many people by just being himself. I could write more about Charles, but instead I will ask you, if you haven’t already to go back and read my post “Love Enough to Reach from Heaven.” That post was not about me. It was about Charles. It was about the impact he made in my life and in the lives of so many others. But that post was about how I interacted with Charles. And in writing that, I hoped to give others a glimpse of who Charles was on Earth. Many who knew Charles did the same thing on their blogs or Facebook. As we mourned the loss of our great brother, we all wrote. We wrote to grieve, to heal, to share. We wrote to remember, to smile again, to cry. We wrote so that the world would know Charles, even if it was just through words on computer screens.
I write when my heart is raw. I don’t always share that bareness, but there is a time to expose ourselves. Now I’ve come to the end of this post–a post I didn’t think I’d finish. All that’s left is to give it a title and publish it. All that’s left is to make a choice: Will I be open and share my soul? Will I risk my comfort to possibly connect with a friend in a new way? I think I will.