All posts by jimazing

Why Is Jim an Ally?

I was asked recently why I’m an LGBTQ ally. Here’s what I said…

I LOVE MY DAUGHTER more than I loved my dogma

I am an ally because I love my daughter more than I loved my dogma.

The youngest of our four daughters, Kat, came out to my wife and me around 2001 when she was 15 years old. At the time, we were very committed, conservative Christians, and to say this was uncomfortable would be a huge understatement. We were devastated!

Our first thought was that we needed to correct this problem. I got lots of literature from a group that was committed to fighting the “gay agenda” and we sent her to counselors who we hoped could “fix” her. I am not proud of that first response, but it was motivated by love and was the best response we could manage at that time.

After much anguish I realized that if she were ever going to change, it would not be in a pressured environment. I decided that the best thing I could do would be to accept that this is who she is and not try to change her. In this way, I hoped that she would be able to stop fighting us. Then she could see the error of her ways and begin to change back.

I was partly right. When we stopped trying to change her, she did stop fighting us. However, it is we, not Kat, who changed. Her confidence in who she was remained constant. Everything about her said unequivocally, “This is who I am and it has nothing to do with you.” We had convinced ourselves that if she were gay, it reflected badly on our parenting. Much of our journey was coming to understand that it was not ‘our fault’.

The first part of our journey was accepting Kat. The last leg of our journey was embracing her exactly as she was and that there was no ‘fault’ with which to be concerned. The reward was realizing that she was still the same wonderful woman we always knew.

Sadly in 2011 she was struck by a very rare cancer which she fought against bravely for a year and a half. We lost her on September 23, 2012. It is still hard to write those words. Three years ago (at the suggestion of our wonderful grief counselor), my wife and I joined PFLAG to help us focus our grief in a way that helps us and helps others. Each time I am there, I am inspired by the love and raw courage of the folks who show up looking for support.

Many of our former community think we have been deceived and gone off the deep end. We have jumped into the deep end of the pool for sure. However, what I have found in the ‘deep end’ are many people who are deeply full of love and pain; people who are too busy loving their LGBTQ family to pretend they have their life together; and real people who just want a friend. This is the community I have longed for my whole life!”

First Time For Everything

There’s a first time for everything, but someone in their late fifties has most of his “first times” behind him so the new ones are extra important. Today was a first time for me. The news of our election brought with it emotions that I have never experienced. I’ve felt the elation of winning and the disappointment of losing. This is different…

castle-stairsI have lost nothing personally. I’m a white, middle classed, middle aged man. When our new president takes office in January I will be able to walk down the street of any town in the USA and no one would ever question my right to be there. The folks that I meet on the street will assume I voted for Trump because of the way I look and the way my state voted. I will still have a good job and health insurance. No worries about war because I am too old to be called into military service. Everything is going my way.

I do not like feeling bad especially when I could easily choose otherwise. I’d rather be full of hope and joy. Yesterday, I imagined I would be consoling my right wing friends and family today and helping them understand that it’s a new day full of love and room for all. Instead I find myself quietly reaching out to a few friends who are very much on the losing side of this election. Listening to them. Affirming their longings. Affirming their person-hood just as they are. Hoping I can help lift their despair just a tad.

Why do I feel like this? I who couldn’t lose. No matter which side won, it wouldn’t much affect me. Not to say that I am immune. I have strong political views, and I’ll be affected by change just like everyone else. But neither political party has an agenda that would take away my human rights directly.

First steps

Not so long ago, my wife and I began to pour our energies into loving and caring for the LGBT community. At our local PFLAG* we are getting to know some of the bravest and most marginalized people we have ever known. 1ststepThese are real human people who do not fit neatly in the boxes provided by society for us to keep them straight (pun intended). I get to hear the stories of these beautiful people; stories of love, of hate, of violence, of death, murder, suicide. Their stories move me; children turned out of their homes because they were attracted to the same sex, parents of transgender children worried for their safety at school. By the way, this NC “bathroom bill” intended to protect “normal” people from a fictitious predator is a very real matter of life or death to these folks.

When the riots happened a few weeks ago here in Charlotte, I stepped out of my comfort zone a few times and risked conversations with friends and acquaintances who have darker skin than mine. I heard the fear they felt. I heard their desire to fit in, along with constant frustration that the color of their skin posed an impenetrable barrier to any hope of real justice or equanimity.

I say these things to explain what changed in me that makes me hurt. I have only just begun the hard work of self examination; finding out just how selfish and unloving I can be. My eyes are just beginning to see and my ears are just beginning to hear how the very society that welcomes me so freely is suspicious at best and hateful at worst of folk who do not look like me.

starofdavidThere’s a great story from the book, “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom about the holocaust in Holland and how her Christian family helped to save Jews. Her father, Casper, a simple watch maker, sewed a yellow Star of David on his coat. In his mind, if everyone wore them the Nazis would not be able to identify the Jews and they would be safe. What a naive gesture but motivated by such inspiring love.

I am a middle aged white man. I don’t have to do this. I can stop anytime I want and just blend into an easy, comfortable life. But I freely choose otherwise. I want to be more like Casper ten Boom and naively believe that I too can love the unloved. That I too can connect in solidarity where they are marginalized. That I can choose to sacrifice my comfort, my safety and my security when it interferes with their human rights when necessary. Who will join me?

*PFLAG = Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays

Seeking Solitude

P1190081Today, September 23, 2015, is the 3 year anniversary of the loss of my youngest daughter. Every year on this day, I have taken the day off from work to honor Kat and to find some solitude. This year, I anticipated spending the week at the Well of Mercy, where I have gone on retreat a couple of times. When I called to make reservations, I learned that they were booked for an event and my plans were simply not going to happen. Rats! Time to create Plan B.

At that time, my cousin was preparing to walk the Camino de Santiago (he’s back now). Pretty quickly I began to think about my own “mini-Camino”; a backpacking excursion. Backpacking is something I have wanted to do at least since I was Kat’s age. With the help of my old outdoor-enthusiast-friend Gerry and my new friend, Paige (Gerry’s daughter who works with Outward Bound) I am doing it! Backpacking in Pisgah National Forest.

The plan is to be out 3 nights on the trail. No goals for mileage or anything like that. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I just want to be safe and find a bit of solitude.

I’ll have the camera, so there will be photos. I hope to write about it, but we’ll see.

Swinging Trees

 

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
~Chinese Proverb

P1070056When we moved into our house 15 years ago, the backyard was a steep, grassy hill. I didn’t have to mow it too many times before deciding a wooded backyard would be a lot more fun. I was right! Little by little I have replaced grass with shade trees.

One summer about 10 or 12 years ago, I was mowing the grass and dreaming of a shady yard. The idea to have a majestic pin oak tree in the middle of the yard seemed like a good idea. These are the beautiful and mighty oaks that you see in the older Charlotte neighborhoods that are probably hundreds of years old. Not too long after deciding to put an oak tree there, I fortuitously noticed a stray pin oak seedling coming up in my bushes. Having the dream and now the tree to fulfill the dream I waited for cooler weather. That fall, I moved the seedling to the chosen spot. While planting it, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “One day, my grandchildren will swing from this tree.”

This week, my dream was fulfilled when I hung a swing from that very tree. My grandson , who is just over a year old was visiting so I picked up a baby swing and some rope and the rest is history. This was the second swing I have hung from trees in the yard. The first one was for my granddaughter and hangs from a maple tree that I also planted. I cannot fully explain the depth of feeling I had watching both of my grandchildren swinging together from swings I hung in trees that I planted.

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This is Grief

Fog on Table RockGrief is not about the person we lost. It is not an exercise in doing what they would have wanted. Grief is for the person who is grieving. It is self care; a process of integrating the loss into our life. Just as her presence in my life changed the person I am, the loss of my daughter’s presence is changing me.This integration of loss is different from the integration of presence.

The integration of presence is like this… Her influence in my life was gradual. Like all my precious daughters, her presence influenced me constantly. It was not a forceful impact, but a natural change agent. Natural as in the things that happen day in and day out that cause us to love, tolerate, forgive, lead, guide, follow, forgive, empathize with, listen to, share thoughts & feelings with, laugh with, cry with, forgive… Without even trying or being aware of it, each of us is changed by the people in our lives. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This is what I mean by the integration of presence.

Unlike the gradual integration of her presence, the loss of her presence was sudden. A shock. Yes, we knew she was ill. We even knew at the end that she was at death’s door, but it was still an abrupt ending to a precious life and to all of the relationships associated with that life. All of us who loved her felt the shock. We all felt the pain. This is difficult to integrate. I don’t want to admit she is gone, much less surrender to it, and yet here I am.

Grief is not at all what I expected. I expected something unfamiliar. What I found was the same old me. I expected a deep sadness that would eventually go away. Of course I am sad at times, but grief is much more than sadness. Grief is a confusing mess of conflicting emotions connected with my loss. It is personal. Pleasant memories that sometimes make me laugh out loud, not so pleasant memories that I would rather forget, pain, emptiness (sometimes shared, sometimes held close) . It’s all part of the package. Each of us experiences it differently. No one has the right to say, “I know just how you feel.” Grief is personal! Even her mom and I are traveling very different versions of the same road. “Get over it and move on with life,” you say? I don’t know what that means. I have no doubt that it will soften as time passes, but when do you stop grieving? To be sure, we do not want to be debilitated by sadness and depression, although there may be periods where that is just what we experience. Grief, whatever it is, is a process that continues while we live.

Grief, whatever it is, is a process that continues while we live.

How is her loss changing me?

  • Since she left us, I understand better how fragile and tenuous life is, which makes it easier to let others off the hook for the odd things they (and I) do. It also makes it harder to say goodbye to those I love.
  • Sure, I still get upset about things, but I find that I get over them more quickly. Her illness and death have helped me understand better that the things I cannot change vastly outnumber the things I can change.
  • I know about things that I never wanted to know about. When I hear that someone has cancer, I can’t help projecting my experience onto them and feeling the weight of what is coming for them.
  • I still know the discomfort of not knowing what to say to someone, but now I also know how much it means to hear simple words of empathy. “I am so sorry.” or “I am thinking of you.”

One year has passed now and it still hurts. Sometimes it takes my breath away when I realize anew that my youngest daughter is not coming home. It still shocks me. It is still abrupt. It doesn’t happen as often, but the similarities with the initial shock of her death are striking. As much as we knew she was dying, her departure was still unexpected. Similarly, as much as missing her has become part of everyday life, that sharp pain of sadness still overtakes me when I least expect it. Just as there is truly no slow, steady movement towards death, there is no getting used to this, no getting over it.

This is grief

Living Presence

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Each of us lives in the lives of others. Sometimes we are fortunate to witness a glimpse of our influence in the life of another person. It could be a word, a quote, a gesture, a choice of restaurants… and we smile to ourselves, “I know where that came from.” But the real treasure, the the beauty of recognizing the influence of another in ourselves, is available anytime anywhere, at the bargain basement cost of a mere moment of reflection.

I know that we live in the lives of those we touch. I have felt in me the living presence of many I have loved and who have loved me. I experience my daughter’s presence with me daily. And I know that this is not limited to those we know in the flesh, for many guests of my life shared neither time nor space with me.

~Elizabeth Watson (quoted in Healing After Loss-Sept 8th)

Reading this quote of Elizabeth Watson this morning, my thoughts went immediately to Kat and her influence in my life. She influenced me greatly both in her life and her death (that word is still so raw and painful). But how do I pin it down and definitively say, “This is how Kat influenced my life”?  In answer to that question, in my imagination a picture appeared of Kat opening a door to a vast beautiful landscape. A garden with full, shady trees, wild grasses and beautifully colorful wildflowers. I step into this landscape which is now part of my world, always there for me to enjoy. Now that I live in this new world, I could try to name every aspect of this landscape to give her credit or I can simply say, “Kat opened the door for me to see life in a new and amazingly beautiful way. My life will never be the same.”

Becoming Real

Kat gazes at the sunset over the Golden Gate BridgeLinda Robertson’s story, Just Because He Breathes, is not our story, but the parallels resonate deeply with me.  It inspires me to share a little more of our story with Kat. When Kat came out to her mom and me, much like the Robertsons, our immediate reaction was to get help for her, to cure her of being gay.

We were already dealing with her depression. She was unhappy with life from the very core of who she was and wore this unhappiness openly on her face. It was embarrassing to take her out in public. We were constantly worrying and wondering what people thought of us as parents. How could she be so inconsiderate as to expect us to deal with this too!?!  If people knew that she was gay, the jig would be up for us. We would be exposed for the horrid parents we truly must be. So we determined to silently endure while we sought a cure.

Over time, I realized that this was not going to be easy, so I formulated a loving strategy. For starters, I began to frame the problem as follows:

  1. Kat is depressed
  2. Kat thinks she is gay
  3. Kat has rejected her faith in Christ
  4. Kat has rejected her faith because she does not feel accepted as a gay woman by the church
  5. Kat’s depression is a result of the conflict she feels between the truth of God and her mistaken identity as a gay woman. Her depression is also related to the rejection of her faith.
  6. I do not like where Kat is. I want her to be well, well adjusted, happy and to know the truth of her (hetero)sexuality.
  7. I knew that I might not get what I want.
  8. I determined that the best possible chance for her would be for us to love her right where she was… completely without conditions. In an atmosphere of truly unconditional grace and love, she could begin to heal.

Somehow I set aside my beliefs about the “lifestyle” she was “choosing”. I honestly do not know how I was able to do this. I didn’t change my beliefs, just decided not to address them with Kat. It was as if I put them on a shelf in the closet (pun intended) and shut the door. My dogma was clearly getting in the way of Kat’s feeling loved and accepted. At that time, she felt more tolerated than loved. It was going to take genuine love over a long time to prove to her that she was truly loved and I was determined to do just that. It was more important to me that she feel loved than that I be right.

It reminds me of this passage from The Velveteen Rabbit (emphasis mine)…

velveteen“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Over a long time, bit by bit, Kat began to change. As I hoped, as I dreamed, she began to become her real self. She transformed from someone in the pits of despair to someone with hope. Sometimes I go back through photos of her and you can see the transformation in the images. It is amazing and wonderful to see.

Early on, I remember my wife asking Kat if she would she be open to becoming heterosexual in the future. She responded brilliantly with a question of her own, “Will you accept me if I don’t?”  She was really asking if we truly loved her just as she was.  My question unintentionally reminded her that a heterosexual transformation was a condition implied for sometime in the future.

What I did not consider and I did not expect was the effect true unconditional love would have on me. I began to see her differently. Although it was not my intention and certainly not on the agenda, I began to take the whole issue of homosexuality down off the shelf and wrestle with it (alone or with friends… not with Kat).

Bit by bit, this social issue became personal for me.

I think much of the pushback from the evangelical Christian community comes from the fact that this is still primarily a social issue. For many it is simply not personal. It’s easy to talk about “those homosexuals” when you don’t know any. It is much different when you know and love someone… and then it turns out they are gay. (For my friends who have a hard time with my stance on this topic, I ask you to turn off your defensiveness momentarily and replace it with curiosity and empathy. It won’t hurt, I promise.)

As I gradually saw Kat for who she was, I softened. As I wrestled with their sources, the sharp edges of my beliefs began to wear down. As I softened my dogma, Kat felt more and more loved.  As she felt more loved, she became happier and healthier. Lest you think this was a cheap way of making everyone happy, I assure you it was not. It was a long process over several years. I invite you to read about it here.

We lost Kat last year to cancer (Read her journey on Caringbridge). The cancer was completely unrelated to her depression, completely unrelated to her sexuality. It was a rare version of cancer known as PNET. As her doctor so plainly stated up front, she did nothing to cause this. There was nothing she could have done to prevent it. As horrible as it sounds and as inexplicable as it is, it just picked her, plain and simple.

As much as we miss her, I am happy to be able to say that our discomfort about her sexuality was resolved well before she got sick. Somehow we were able to get to a place of loving her unconditionally. Like the Robertson’s story, so often, it takes a tragedy to rock our world enough to help us see the larger picture. When I play out different scenarios in my mind, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that they were not our story…

  • What if we had chosen dogma over daughter?
  • What if we had loved Kat with our words, but only tolerated her sexuality?
  • Worse yet, what if we had rejected her because of her sexuality?

I am thankful that we chose the path of leaning into our own discomfort and taking the more difficult journey towards love and acceptance. I am thankful that our reasons for choosing this path were nothing more or less than our love for Kat.

When Kat left us, she knew she was loved by her family. She felt our love with every fiber of her being. What more could a parent want?

The Wall is Down

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The wall before

The wall is
down.

The wall was a creation for Kat made by some incredible friends. It was never intended to be permanent. I wrote about the creation of the wall in, The Room Built with Love. It was Sunday, September 16th when a group of guys gave up Sunday relaxation in order to help a friend in need. And just 8 months later it was time to bring friends back over to help take it down.

The reason for the wall was to create a private space downstairs in our house where Kat could live. She had decided it was time to stop chemo treatments, so we knew her time with us was short. We wanted to create the best possible situation for her. One of my friends said last night, “We wanted to create a fortress from which she could fight this dread disease. What we actually built was a space where she could die with dignity.”

We wanted to create a fortress from which she could fight this dread disease. What we actually built was a space where she could die with dignity.

This wall was that and so much more. It was a symbol of the love of friends and family and a reminder of the loss of our precious daughter.

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For me, the painful reminders of loss are not so constant as they were. There are fewer and they are further between. But they sneak up and ambush me when I least expect it:

  • Seeing the Bananagrams game in a store. No one could beat Kat at Bananagrams!
  • The wave of grief in the middle of my shower as my mind drifts back to the long, hot showers that gave Kat some small amount of relief.
  • The joy and sadness curiously cohabiting in me while listening to children’s music with my granddaughter and they play, “Down by the Bay”. Little Katie would laugh as she sang over and over, “Did you ever see a bear, combing his hair, down by the bay?” (video below)…

How can things have gotten so bad that the best gift my little girl could hope for was a wall that gave her a place to die with dignity? She had such hopes and dreams! I had such hopes and dreams for her. Her life was cut way too short.

I just want a Kat hug. I miss her so much!

For those who want to know about Kat’s journey with PNET, these links will help:

Pink Squares

fb redUpdate: When I first posted this, I understood the meaning behind the image, but I didn’t understand some pretty basic things about it… First, it is an equal sign (=). Seems silly now, but I didn’t see that in the beginning. Also, it is a red version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. The name of this blog entry is a testament to my ignorance 🙂

My version of the image here is a morph of the HRC logo with a photo of my daughter, Kat.

Polarizing topics like same sex marriage stir us and rarely lead to respectful dialog.  We tend to go to our respective poles and shout whatever our side tells us to shout. Yesterday on Facebook, I joined with many who changed their profile photos to a red square with two pink squared contained within. This was to show my support for equal civil rights for same sex couples as I enjoy with my wife. I have written before about how my views about homosexuality were influenced by my daughter, Kat. I stand by those words. If you have not read them, you can find them in this post, Loving Kat, Changing Me.

I am aware that because of the polarization of same sex relationships in general and gay marriage in particular, my recent posts in support of gay marriage probably imply things that I do not mean. So please allow me to explain what I believe today (it will likely change).

  • I do not automatically believe that everyone who disagrees with me about these matters is homophobic or hateful.
  • I believe that marriage should be a religious joining that fits the beliefs of the couple being married.
  • No church or other religious order should be required to perform or sanction marriage that violates their teachings. A church organization should retain the right to hold that homosexuality is a sin and should never be forced to perform same sex marriages.
  • I believe that the government should get out of the business of regulating marriages.  Period.
  • I believe that appropriate legal benefits and consequences should only be administered through legal contracts of domestic partnership agreements.
  • There should be no legal recognition of marriage at all. This is not a state matter.
  • Any two consenting adults… (It should go without saying, but since this is about clarification… I do not advocate any kind of sanction for child sex relationships)… again, Two consenting adults should be able to make a binding legal contract in which they commit to one another no matter whether they are different sexes or the same sex.

I strongly suspect that 50 years from now (or less), our descendants will look back at this debate much as we look back at issues like racial segregation and women’s right to vote today.  They will wonder why we had such a hard time accepting people who were different than the majority.

I am one of a quiet but growing group that is stepping carefully and fearfully into the unknown, asking hard questions of the leaders they have followed unquestioningly all of their lives. I have been on both sides of this “issue”. Kat helped me see it not as an issue, but as a human rights situation involving real humans; humans who deserve the same civil rights as I do, not because of my sexual orientation, but because I am a living breathing human being that deserves respect.

I welcome conversation around this topic from people who disagree with me. I only ask for an agreement up front that we will listen to one another honorably and respectfully and that it is okay to end the conversation with disagreement on the topic.

Writing the Illusive Story

timid-dog-biteMy stories run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
–Ray Bradbury

Sometimes the dog brings me a finished thought that comes easy. Other times, he is more like the timid little dog in this photo that does not know what he wants.

I am struggling with a topic now. I started writing it the end of February and I am no closer to a finished product than I was then. Like so often happens, I began with a thought. It did not work, so I set it aside. I came back to it a few times, scrapped some thoughts, rewrote others. Thinking I knew what I wanted to say, I started over, but that did not work either. <sigh> Sometimes it works. Often it does not. I guess if I were doing this 25 years ago, I would have a waste basket overflowing with wads of paper.

I decided tonight to write about the writing process. I have a few mind pictures that I use when I talk about it that I wanted to share. They say we should write what we know… this I know.

When a story comes easily, it is like I am sitting in the middle of a huge ball. The ball is a complete story that already exists. I know it completely and intimately. It just needs to be slowly squeezed out through my brain, one word at a time. If I am persistent, it will happen. After it is out, I can polish it up a bit and pretty soon, I am hitting the “Publish” button on my blog. That is not always the case though.

Every story begins as an idea. I login to the blog and begin writing, like I am doing now. I know what I want to say and it just comes out a word at a time. Keeping the whole thought in my mind long enough to squeeze it out can be difficult. I not only have to remember the whole finished idea, I need to remember how much of the story I have already told and what comes next. From his quote (above), I would say that Ray Bradbury’s ideas were more persistent than mine frequently are. His stuck around long enough to ensure they were acknowledged. In contrast, my ideas are shy, impatient and easily bored. If I am not attentive enough to them, they will walk away sulking that I did not care enough to write them down in time.

I read in a biography of Alexander Hamilton, who wrote the lion’s share of the Federalist Papers, that he would take very long walks to think about what to write. Then he would go to bed and sleep, no matter the time of day or night. He would sleep for a number of hours (I forget the details). When he awoke, he began writing and would stay at it for hours until he was done. When he was done, he was done… (at least that is the way I remember it).

It seems to me that his ideas were lumps of dough that needed to rise before being thrown into the oven to be cooked into writings. I have thrown many ideas into the oven too soon.  Every entry that I begin has just as much potential to end up published as it does to be added to the ever growing list of unpublished posts.

I find myself wondering what will happen to this post… will anyone else ever see these words?

Usually one of the last things I will do is find, or create images to go with the posts. I find that visual images add interest to the presentation. Maybe it is the little boy in me that prefers picture books to books with just words. Speaking of which, the book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball is a terrific book about managing to work in corporate life without losing your humanity. The reason I thought of it is that it is full of doodles by the author. Some of them illustrate his topics and some are just doodles.

apple-hole

One more illustration about what writing is like for me. Imagine a huge apple that represents the whole of what happened. As the storyteller, I want you to know what happened, but if I really describe the whole apple, I will have written a text book on apples rather than tell a story. My job is to describe the apple well enough while also telling an interesting story. The thing that actually happened and the story about what happened both have weight. It is no good to bore you with a long, drawn-out story that is perfectly complete and accurate. Likewise focusing solely on the story while ignoring the truth of the thing that happened is to miss the point of telling the story altogether.  The end result feels a bit like I am a worm eating the apple and describing the trip as I go through. There are innumerable ways to get through the apple and be true to it, but I only get to choose one. I leave a lot out, but when I do it well, we are satisfied and we know what an apple tastes like.

I hope this trip through the apple worm hole of this writer’s mind has been enjoyable.  I don’t know if this helped me get any closer to writing the post that is fighting against me, but it was worth a try.