I’ve been speed reading blogs lately. My apologies to anyone with whom I haven’t done a good job of keeping in touch. Somehow, I got behind (I say it somehow like I don’t know how, but we all know how life piles up sometimes). Then with notifications that I had 200+ blogs to read, just from the blogs that I follow, I endeavored to speed read my way through.
Interesting thing though. When I did that, I got a glimpse of the bigger picture of our collective writing. Something like flipping through a book with a drawing in the corner to get the feel of animation. I picked up Word Press like a magazine to thumb through and get a sense of what kind of publication it was.
We all have a story to tell
It’s magical when we are treated to another person’s story. We get a little moment of being able to inhabit someone else’s shoes. In the posts I sped through, I found so much vitality created by writers opening up a vein, to steal from Ernest Hemingway, and leaving a bit of themselves on the page.
The narratives range from trauma to kindness, optimistic to pessimistic, factual to fiction which makes it hard to figure out what this collection has in common. But my speed read led to an a-ha. What binds it together is a rich tradition of story-telling.
We are trying mightily to understand what it all means
To borrow another writing quote, Anne Lamott said “Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” There is something in the practice of putting words on a page that defines the outline of what we are trying to live. And as we draft new versions, we keep reshaping what that looks like. We are writing things into life.
It seems this was even more palpable during the beginning of the Covid pandemic when we were faced with something most of us had never seen in our lifetimes. Collectively we were trying to understand the landscape of socialization and security as conditions changed. We faced fear and grief by writing about it.
Now that those concerns have receded, or at least become a familiar backdrop, I see us wrestling with love, parenting, the state of our planet, success, family, aging. Sometimes with humor, and other times with tears, but we show up on the page as real people writing it out.
There is a beautiful persistent vibe of trying to get better
That leads to the final gem that I gleaned from the pile of posts I sped through. There was a consistent spirit of trying to share knowledge. The collective is telling their stories, processing life through writing, and when we learn a lesson, we memorialize it in words.
This might be the highest hurdles of our collective writing. How to offer up the individual lessons so that others can heal and learn. What I noticed is that we are learning through teaching. Often humbly, and with a dose of personal perspective, but as Yale sociologist Nicholas Christoff says, one of the incredible things we do as humans is cooperate with genetically unrelated individuals, “We teach each other things. People take this for granted, but it’s actually unbelievable.”
We are publishing a magazine every day. A lifestyle magazine. An inspirational writing journal. A guide to healing. I’m sorry I’ve missed your individual posts but I’m glad for the opportunity to thumb through this magazine. Well done.
My recent time crunch has led me to want to review The Quality versus Quantity of Time on my personal blog.
I also post on Mondays at the Heart of the Matter blog, a great shared blog of personal storytelling with a podcast that highlights inspirational creatives. My book about my journey to find what fueled my dad’s indelible spark and twinkle can be found on Amazon: Finding My Father’s Faith.
You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon
(featured photo from Pexels)