I followed one of Natalie Goldberg’s suggestions today and asked myself, “why do I write?” This is the answer. Today’s answer.
I write to assert myself, to cut through the din of everyone else’s “why”s, to know what it is I think and feel, to know what I know.
I write to find meaning in a world that seems senseless and cruel without reason. I write to believe that it is enough to appreciate what there is of beauty, light and kindness to survive. I write because I am not allowed to speak. I write because my people are silent. I write to fight against all the deafening, numbing secrecy, against timid lips pressed together in acceptance of their victimhood in a world where choice is the one thing few people choose or affirm.
I write because it’s often beautiful.
I write to cut through my self-pity to the next deeper level of truth, and the next, and the next.
I write because I believe in stories, I believe in the value of telling who you are, I believe in saying the truth and imagining the connections and images in-between.
I write because I admire all who stand up to be counted. I want to be one of them.
I write because writing is my way into change.
I write to find my truth, to accept it by expressing it and to move on.
I write because paper is patient and non-judgmental, even when I am impatient and when I hurt myself with the judge in me.
I write because I can repeat myself as often as I need to.
I write because who will witness my life? There is no-one here with me.
I write because writing is better than comfort food.
I write to learn. I write to ask myself new, and better, questions.
I write to grow up. I write so I won’t forget the child in me that needs play and love and tenderness and curiosity.
I write so I don’t get on people’s nerves because I want to talk with them. I write because I can’t stand it not to tell someone how incredibly joyful the rain made me feel today, after days of Sahara sand clogging up my lungs.
I write because I can; I write because of all the women who were never given the chance to learn their own alphabet.
I write for all the women who did have that chance and now don’t make use of what was given to them.
I write because language is the most thrilling experiment of all.
I write because I need a place to drain the emotional mud bath.
I’m writing to engage with the world when it would be easier not to. I write because this is the way in which I am able to engage.
I paint too. I sing. I dance. I draw.
These are ways to engage when words are too concrete or too limited or just not the medium that works. I believe that all these ways to engage are part of my writing.
They are the breath I take before I let go of whatever obstacle it is that holds me back.
I write to believe.
I write to understand.
I write so I can live with all this, and still love.