I came across this paragraph from a creative writing thread this morning, and it was so real to me, I felt as if the writer had read my mind:
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King
Sometimes I sit down to write and I'm frozen. I like knowing that someone like Stephen King has experienced the same thoughts. That's not to say I'm ready to pour out all of my euphoria and angst on page yet, but it helps. It's really all about being brave, isn't it? I always thought I was courageous: I'll stand up for my kids against the establishment, I'll face down a vicious dog, I'll take a needle in the arm without flinching. But revealing my feelings? That's one place I won't go. Too scary. I don't cry in front of anyone. I'm a master at keeping a straight face in a surprise situation. Serves me well in a crisis, but I've also been accused of being heartless.
One of my facebook friends, J, recently began reading her mother's journals. Her beloved mother passed away a year ago, and had been an avid journalist. Now that some time has passed, J feels ready to start reading the journals and she is feeling so blessed to have these peeks into her mother's thoughts and feelings. I have often thought about journalling, but honestly feared revealing too much of myself on paper that way. It's so permanent! But I'm starting to realize now that it's also very generous. What a tremendous gift J's mother has left behind.
Do you journal? Have you ever written a memoir?