So, the final installment of the marvelous anniversary questions … I have saved the big questions, the ones I really struggled with, for last.
How has writing changed my living?
Certainly writing here, and in other places, has made me pay more attention to the details of my life. There is no question I’m more mindful – I even meditate sometimes, which those of you who have known me a long time will find hilarious, even shocking. In some ways, however, this is just another manifestation of an essential trait. I was always slightly removed, the official photographer, and I still am, hovering a bit at the edges, watching, observing. I still take a lot of pictures, but I’m often composing sentences in my head, paying close attention, trying to engrave the details of a moment on my brain. So while I think there has been a change, for sure, I think the basic tendency always existed.
Has writing improved my ability to linger in the moments?
This is a hard one. I think it’s improved my commitment to do so. For sure. Writing has made crystal clear for me that my life is right here in the moments, and has thus shown me how critically important it is to really live them. But has it made me better at doing so? I’m honestly not sure.
Does writing about the heavy stuff take it off my chest or result in more pondering?
To the extent that writing helps me figure out what it is I’m thinking about, it takes things off of my chest. But the truth is I’ve always got heavy thoughts with me, weighty stuff sitting right over my lungs. I never shed that, or rarely, so I’m not sure it makes a huge difference, writing through it here. That said, I’m not sure my goal is to get rid of it, either. I think it’s just part of who I am, a component of what beats through my veins as surely as the stuff in my blood.
What are my dreams, and what does the wild inside of me dream of?
I’m shocked by how hard this is for me to answer. I dream of writing and publishing a book. I dream of my children growing up happy, content, and knowing who they are and what road they want to take. My sister’s sojourn in Jerusalem is awaking a long-buried desire for adventure, so I dream of finding ways to incorporate that in my life with my family. I’m a little ashamed that I can’t answer this more completely or compellingly.
Do I talk about these questions with my friends and family? Do I live my life this deeply?
I talk about these questions with certain dear friends. There are a few, and I do mean a few, native speakers with whom I discuss these topics. Mostly, truthfully, I fear that the contents of my heart and mind are a bit too weighty for the average friend, and I fear scaring them off. So if I don’t have these conversations more often, it’s in large part because I don’t think it’s wanted by the other person.
Do I live my life this deeply? I think so. I have written before about how the person in this blog is the authentic me, and the in-person me is still figuring out how to entirely embody all that I know I care about and intend. So nothing here is artificial, and given that I write about what it is to live a life I think it follows that I do live this deeply. But I’m curious, to those who know me (if any of you are still reading), what you think of this. Do I?