The Human Condition

I was listening to David Shields, yesterday, on LiveWire Radio, on the way home from visiting with a friend. Levi was sleeping in the back, and the script had the cast trip into funny tales of reading and not reading the topics to discuss.

David Shields recently completed a memoir on writing. He commented, on the show, that someone said once (I didn’t hear the name) that every person, holds inside of them, the human condition.

That, for me, sums up writing. I am amazed and perplexed by all these interactions we have with each other. I am amazed and horrified by how we treat one another. I am amazed and shocked by the stories we have to bear. So, this format, this blog, for me, is one way of telling my version of the human condition. Sometimes I write about very personal things that the folks who are involved in the story will know I am talking about them. I am sorry for hurt feelings that might be felt after reading how I have interpreted a situation, but I am not sorry for writing. I recognize this fine line between telling too much and not enough, but right now for me, this is my catharsis. I know what I think when I read what I write.

For example, my husband and I had a difference of opinion recently. (Ha, ha, ha, yes, more than just one!) This particular position, I do not even recall exactly what it was, I found particularly irksome. Two days later, while getting my schedules arranged at work, while pontificating the tasks at hand and who was where, it came to me – why this thing was particularly irksome. So, I wrote – in a lame text message – why the thing bothered me.

I couldn’t articulate in the moment. So, often, when asked throughout growing up, “What’s wrong?” I will always answer, “I am fine.” This has normally pissed, hurt my mother to no end. Why couldn’t I just share with her my feelings?

Well, feeling sharing has never been a safe strategy for me. From those who violated my trust in my youth, to navigating school yard bullies, explaining the thoughts in my head, in person, to another has never felt like a particularly safe strategy. But, how do I tell my story then? How do I speak my story to power to articulate my needs and make a better life for me and those around me? How do I find my needs to find the win win for each of us?

I write. I write because I know what I think when I read what I write.

Whether it’s in a text message to my beleaguered husband, or in a blog post about a recent interaction between those I love who are close to me… I write because I know what I think when I read what I write, and that’s how I can communicate with the wider world and those who are close to me. If being close is in part sharing our stories, this is how I can share mine – for better or worse.