Where words come from-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
TODAY, your words can come from Cagayan de Oro, its crowded streets, its river, its bridges, but for now, mostly from its bridges.
Writing is very much like standing on a bridge between two riverbanks. Writing always borrows from the realm of both imagination and truth.
It is about pleasure and pain, one unable to exist without the other. It draws from what was, what already is, and what will be.
It causes the birth of words and thoughts and the death of the causes of these births. The effect results in a recreation of that which was only vaguely known.
The act of writing hides even as it reveals things that we already know; yet do not know until they are written.
The very act of putting words on paper destroys that which motivated the act. We have the words, however.
We write from our inner truths, which cannot exist, without our imagination. Writing is imagining what we already know.
We write from our deepest pain and from the pleasure that comes after the words are out there on the page, to be read by those who, like ourselves, know that pain is an endless hunger for nameless things. No one is exempted from this knowing.
When a writer sits down finally, after all the necessary procrastination born of both excitement and fear, s/he does not fully know where to begin, what to write, or how to end. S/he only knows that she must write, because it is more painful not to.
In the words of Roxana Robinson: “I write about the things that trouble me. I write about the things that disturb me, the things that won’t let me alone, the things that are eating slowly into my brain at three in the morning, the things that unbalance my world. I carry these things around inside my head until I am compelled to write them down to get rid of them. I sit down and begin.”
Every time a writer reads what she has written, there will always be a more concise and emphatic word, a more cohesive and unified structure out there beyond the page.
A writer is always dissatisfied, uncertain at the end of each writing. The pleasure at the completion of a work is always short-lived.
From beginning to end, pain and pleasure grip the writer smitten by the unknown and the desire to discover all that is mysterious and uncertain about life, the self, and the world – all these with only (and always) a handful of words with which to “know.”
We write from a desire for mystery and the need to know. Within the text are the twin processes of mystery and revelation.
To write is to seek the question more than the answer. Writing is a way of looking at the world, a way of living, a celebration of paradox, mystery, and uncertainty a writer knows that there is and always will be much to discover about the world outside and about the life within the self.
The paradox lies in the impossibility of capturing all these, and yet at the end of each written piece, knowing that one has left one’s mark of this “wonder” on a page for a fellow human being to discover and make his own.
Writing is like waking up from a dream, a revelation of what is not understood, a rediscovery of what we think has been lost and forgotten.
There are always many things, all at once, merging and re-emerging the way water shifts through sand.
We are forever crossing the bridge that links the two banks of our river, those in-between places that recall the silence between the notes of a song, or the pause between each drawn breath, or that dark-light time right after night and just before dawn.
Writing is a reading of where we come from, and most of the time, we come from middle spaces, where there will always be more than one thing, all at once.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 12, 2013.