They say the best writing is unguarded.
The writing that speaks—that is worthy—is the writing of truth.
Gut wrenching, honest truth.
hopelessly delicate faith that weaves in-and-out of unanswered questions;
and witty, wishy-washy, wavering life.
It’s the post that I schedule, then unscheduled because I’m fearful. I’ll take it off the blog and rework it into something more palatable and puny. I tame it down until it’s neutered and my voice and passion are silenced. It’s been whipped into submission, and I confirm that no one could possibly be upset with me or think I owe an apology.
They will still love me now.
It’s then I realize, “I shouldn’t have messed with that hot ticket!” and go searching with frustration and fervor for the original text or less mutilated version existing within the bites and cache of my computer. Praying that I was smart enough to “save as” segregating the essay with fire that could potentially get me in hot water from that one that will keep everyone dumb and happy and bored (with me).
…and when I find it (the unedited essay) I consider it a sign from above—because I’m always looking for signs in everything— to confirm and validate moving forward with my voice (aka: bad behavior and hot potato topic).
But. But…it’s also going to make some readers (onlookers) uncomfortable, angry, and question my motives.
And at worst I could get blacklisted from someone, or the tribe, flock, and gaggle.
I don’t want that. I want to be love… But I also don’t want to live with tape over my mouth.
Me. Juxtaposed. Overthinking. My brain feeling like raw hamburger.
I have completed essays sitting, waiting for my courage to catch-up. I’ve considered going under a pseudo-name. I’ve written how hierarchy in my church has unknowingly (I hope unknowingly) thwarted me. And a story about my fears in showing care for a homeless cat who scratches the surface of diving off the deep-end of caring—and I’m not sure I can go there. There is an essay begging to play in the yard about someone’s undiagnosed depression—and the alien audience watching from a distance. And the time well intending folk led to my baptism with the wrong pastor. The unraveling of family and my silent grief. Wondering about my Republican affiliation, because there is a lot of Liberal in my bones, and both parties are messed up beyond repair. Pro-Choice. Gay Rights. Health Care. Breast Cancer. Over-weight-ness. Blog stats, and lack of comment insecurities. The stigma of marrying a black-sheep. International mission trips—but our homes and country need fixing—first. Forgiven history—yet personal boundaries are misunderstood. Middle-school girls who sing about Jesus then two days later give BJs and drink rum. Oh and there is the year I had a rainbow sticker on my car—bumper-stickers are a big eff-ing deal.
(and how I use the written word “eff-ing” because I’m too afraid to get real like Anne Lamott)
I mean I am a good Christian girl…and what if my niece reads this?
What I’m saying is, I know I’ve written (and not posted) the things you’re thinking about. I know one of those statements above made your heart leap with either, “please please talk about this, I need to hear I’m not alone—or crazy” and the other half flashed a moment of red with, “don’t go there—how dare you bring up that matter—you are looking at it wrong—you are mistaken—I’ll stop reading your blog—I’ll never comment again—I will not love you.”
I’ve been unfriended, un-subscribed, shunned.
I’ve also been loved, long emails of thanks and personal private stories, and felt included in a web-made-tribe of unconditional love.
Problem is, that most of that webby-love is spread by miles of land and sea, yet the shunning is in aisle 12 at my local grocery store.
Those of you that said, “please, please talk…” you are my audience and tribe. Thank you. And one day I’ll get over all my insecurities of being a good Christian girl who shouldn’t play the lotto and should never ever say f…fu… (crap—really?—I’m going to be this wimpy?)… And I’ll get past my fears of perceived blacklists and steaming quazi-comrades.
Until then, I’m waiting for more bravery to gather so we can be kindred—because I know with every fiber in my body that there is so much comfort in seeing another person write or speak about the things you’re afraid to admit—it gives you courage. And I know I do no good in this world by sitting wishy-washy on the fence, writing boring trivial slop. So I’ll choose a side and find a good wrap-up—because a great topic and voice is mere venting or idle chatter without takeaway.
Are you—or do you want to be—a communicator, in word, song, or speech? Are you afraid of your voice and what it wants to say? What one thing would you talk about and what holds you back?