Where I am not, I can be.
You know why I want to write? Why I create this online diary, subscribe to magazines, skim electronic and printed headlines? Why I cry, laugh, or hold emotion over words? Why I dream about a world thousands of miles away? Because when I cannot see, I can read. Because when I finally experience, I can enable others to share the memory. Life is limited to the recesses of a day, when God instills patience and a place. One may not escape their town or time, but one can mentally enter alternate realities through the written language.
My brother, when asked what was the best invention, did not say the wheel or telephone. Instead he answered, the printing press. The ability to express ourselves in a tangible media, and spread it across continents and their peoples, is unique to mankind. Without the printing of words, the Bible’s meaning would be lost, history would slip away, memories would fade forgotten, this message would not exist.
Would we have our computers to read this- or the capacity to create technology- if we had not discussed our ideas, recorded our facts, developed advanced language, or passed inspiration upon paper? And this is only a matter of basic communication. Yes, writing allows us to interact mentally everyday, in our quick facebook posts or tweets. Don’t take this for granted. This is the simple beauty. Thank goodness for instructions, emails, letters, and lists.
Yet what I truly love, and cannot get over, is the power the Lord has given us to produce the novel, the play, the newspaper. Personal creations that give us insight to the human heart. When an event or epiphany happens, one does not have to rush to speak, but can sit at a desk to sift our thoughts. To give a description to the intangible. To put down the priceless moments. To separate fact from fiction. To believe or reject. To ponder and reflect, explain or show, what matters to us in this life. Unlike the masses of titles and texts available, pure verbal speech with this power rarely arises. In every literary piece, a piece of the author’s soul is interlinked with its words. How often do we sit back and realize the power in the words we are reading?
In the movie The Dead Poet’s Society, the significance of works most take lightly or avoid- like poems and classics- are revealed in their full glory.
Robin Williams said, “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
I do not know if I will be a published author someday, or if I will grow to have a career in writing. But in this moment, I can write and say I thank God for written language- for what it is, for what it does, and for what it conveys. I can sit at this table and jump into other lives, hearts, visions in the pages of the internet or book. I can drink tea with a woman in Sudan, tremble in terror with the Japanese, dread the heaviness of an 18th century arranged marriage, or feel the adrenaline of a basketball game. I can let a person in Ireland know that I feel this passion right here, right now.