July 2, 2007

Why I write

Posted in family, writing at 9:45 pm by jimazing

monkwriter.gifWhy do I write? Who am I writing to. Of course this being a public blog, I am writing to anyone who wants to read it. When I first began this blog, I didn’t know who I was writing to and that is right where I needed to start… by just writing. After thinking about it, I realized that my heart’s desire is for my family to know who I am. I frequently find myself wondering about my grandparents and my great grandparents. What were they like at my age? What did they think about? What were the joys of life for them? What did they fear? What did they desire? What did they do for fun? I don’t know the answers to those questions because they didn’t leave a record. No journals or diaries. No books. I imagine there were lots of reasons that they didn’t write… but that is the best I have, my imagination.writing.JPG

I don’t think everyone comes to a place in life where they ask these kinds of questions… but some of us do. The smart ones ask while their grandparents are still living. Unlike them, I waited until one by one, they passed away. All is not lost, however. My dad recently shared a sermon that my great-grandfather M. C. Lewis delivered which I published here. I took some video of my grandmother Anderson telling stories before she died. I hope to edit and publish her stories too. The Family History section of my blog is dedicated to these family stories. Another project that I have begun is transferring video from old 8mm movies to the computer. I published some of these on my old Home Movies blog. One day I’ll get around to incorporating that with this blog site, but not tonight 🙂

The Dream

I had a dream a few years ago that I hope will explain a little more why I write about me… publicly. In my dream I had died, but I was able to walk around and experience everything as if I was alive, but no one could see me. It was much like inmydream.gif the movies. The dream begain after my funeral was over and everyone got together for fried chicken and potato salad (mom makes a mean potato salad). I didn’t see everyone there, but I did see my mom. She was standing and staring into space with a despondent look on her face. I felt so bad for her that I walked up and hugged her. I knew she wouldn’t be able to feel it, but I wanted to hug her so badly. When I put my arms around her, I couldn’t really feel her, but her eyes opened wide and she gasped! It was as if she could feel my presence.

Now I was feeling excited. I thought that if I could make her feel me, maybe I could interact with the “real world” in other ways. I tried moving things to let them know I was there, but nothing worked until I picked up a pen and wrote on a piece of paper. I could actually write notes to them! I found myself writing to them about what I thought was important. My daughters were making decisions about things and I wanted to tell them how I felt about their decisions, so I wrote it down.

Suddenly, I woke up. I was dazed and unsure if it had been a dream. It felt so real. I sat up on the side of the bed and waited for a minute or two as my mind cleared. I soon realized it must have been a dream, but I was still feeling rattled. I prayed and asked God what He wanted me to do with this dream. I knew there was more to it than just a dream, but I was confused.

I felt God whisper to me. Not audibly, but it was like a knowing, complete thought. He said, “It is real.” You will have the ability to communicate to your loved ones after you die. If you write the things that are important to you now, they will have them when you are gone.

That dream has driven me ever since. I want my writing to communicate to those I love now and those I love and care about in the future. I want you to know who I am. What I think about. What I dream about. What I fear. What I long for. I want you to know my questions and my doubts. I don’t want my ancestors to put me on a pedestal as if I was some kind of super man who never doubted or feared. I am a man who struggles and wrestles with life and with my faith.

That is why I write.


  1. Curtis said,

    Jim–I appreciate your sharing this story about you and why you write. Your desire to be known and heard now and after you are gone is awesome and significant.
    What you say matters–and will! So I applaud your stirrings and your sharing–keep writing!

  2. Paul said,

    Thanks for sharing why you write! Your posterity will certainly have a trove of good writings to get to know you even after you’ve passed on. I also appreciate the little stories you’ve shared of my “Daddy Jim”. In some ways, these stories serve the same purpose, albeit indirectly.

  3. Tanya said,

    This is a very deep dream, but I believe that is stretches beyond what you understand about it. I believe that your writing should not only reach out to your loved ones, but to reach out to everyone! It is meant to touch and change the lives of everyone who reads it.

  4. I wish all of us in the family could be as transparent as you and still retain who we are. I would treasure words from my Momma and Dad. You are really leaving a trail of faithfulness for generations to come. You are touching many and expressing what some of us either are unable or unwilling to.

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