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On Why I Write

I write a lot of things when there is something to say but nobody appropriate to say it to. There are a lot of things like that. Things laced with profanity. Things angry and things sexy and things rude where anger and sexiness and rudeness are taboo. Things wrapped up in guilty feelings or fear or frustrations towards those who might read it. So that’s one reason why the proverbial paper takes it. Because oftentimes, she’s the only one strong enough and kind enough and lacking judgment enough to take these things.

The other reason I write is because I need to see and hear the things I feel and think in my own language. The language of the beauty salon & the barbershop, the hood and the places we all came from. This language comes from down tenement halls, from inside street markets packed with immigrants, from between rows of cotton and corn, murmured in crowded subway cars, shouted from church pews, poured out in prayer, and lifted up in song. There is a little ivory tower lingo mixed in of course, but that is neither my first nor my most important language.

That’s all well and good but if you are reading this thing, which is one of those rare times when I will be writing to you and not just because I have something to say, you are probably not wondering why I am writing, but why is it all laid out here for you to look at.

Well I wrote this thing one evening and I got so emotional that I needed someone to be there with me even though I was alone. And so I posted it in a public place right after it happened, while I was still high off of the event itself. I forgot about that post and went to sleep but when I awoke I was shocked to discover that a lot of you had been there with me in your own ways. You sat in my taboos and shame and rage and hopelessness and were moved with me and some even took my voice and shared it as their own. You said, “this is real, this is how I feel & this person put it into words.” I’ve felt that way before & the words of others have been invaluable in helping me to find and articulate my own voice. So just in case I have the capacity to say something else that can resonate with any of you in the same way, it will all be here for you to look at, repeat, share, critique, curse out, vibe with, disagree with, and whatever else you like to do with words. A humble thank you for allowing me space in your world and a not-as-cocky-as-it-sounds you’re welcome for some space in mine.

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One response to “On Why I Write”

  1. melainia says :

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing these things with the world. Your writing is an inspiration.

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