This piece was vulnerable to write, and feels vulnerable to share. It was born from introspection, asking myself "why do I write?" I'm not sure this is my final answer, but it's what I feel right now. I wonder what your answer to that question would be.
I write for one person and one person alone.
I don’t know their name, and I don’t know who they are.
I don’t know when they will live. I don’t know what they will love.
I don’t know where they will come from, and I don’t know where they are going.
My words, like a leaf carried downstream across innumerable swirling eddies of space-time, narrowly escaping the maw of destruction countless times, only to be delivered, ever so improbably, into their wide open hands.
I write for you — my once and future reader.
How will you see me?
No — what will you see in me?
What will you see there that would make it all worth it?
As you gaze into the crystal ball, crowded with words, circumscribed by thousands of smudged and scribbled pages… what will these dog-eared pages speak to you?
Rather, what will you hear them say?
I hope that you will treasure my words. They are, after all, for you.
I want to hear about all the things you hate about my writing. I want to know what drives you up the wall — my tics, my turns of phrases, my lacunae, my ignorances, and my idiosyncrasies.
Please, tell it all to me, and hold nothing back, like the gossip passed between two close friends.
But please, if you would indulge me, tell me what draws you to my words. What grabs hold of you and won’t let go? What stays in your mind long after you’ve closed the book? What thought slowly settles into your bones, leaving you feeling as though you cannot be the same person any longer?
Which of my words have started inserting themselves into your conversations, perhaps imperceptibly at first, but now almost to an obnoxious degree?
What do you think that I am like? Do you pity me? Revere me? Do you feel nothing at all?
Are you scared of what my words do to your mind? Are you afraid of the person you might become if you let these thoughts in?
I’ve been there too. Perhaps you can sense in my writing the spirit of a fellow traveler.
Do you feel seen by me?
I certainly feel seen by you. You are so far away, worlds apart from me, it seems, and yet I feel that you are with me every time I write, every time I publish.
Whenever I read my own words, I feel that I am reading them to you.
Will you be waiting for me, as I am for you?
Even if I never meet you, I am sure that you are there...
Your hands, your heart, your mind — they are waiting for me. For my words.
Not all my words, of course. Just some words, perhaps a sentence or two.
Even just a single word is enough for me.
I need you to be there waiting for me, because I don’t want to leave you waiting.
I can't be your everything, but can I at least be a something to you? Anything at all?
I want to be your something.
I promise that my words will travel to you on such hidden and humble wings as matter affords.
May these words find their way to you, inexorably, my once and future reader.
Are you a writer? You're certainly a reader. That relationship between writer and reader, spanning time, space, and sometimes even language... There is something so special about it. It feels like two kids whispering secrets to each other through a tin can telephone. Thanks for putting your ear to the tin can this morning.