I’ll say it. Many readers prefer ‘The 10 Best Ways To ….’ Unfortunately, that style of writing I’m unable to deliver. Although that format is suggested for structuring a successful article, I will speak for myself and other writers who can’t take that route. We are essay writers.
When an essay writer forms a thought, a poem, a blog – any sort of sharing – what is being offered up is a partial piece of something. The writing might represent a feeling that comes up now and again, but not always the primary thought, and definitely not the only thought. It is a form of writing that catches the random fleeting experiences that are rarely spoken, yet real, which, if given words, might become important and pivotal. This form of writing is far removed from, say, your cell phone manual, different from that stack of self-help on ‘how-to ___ most effectively’. Essay writing for the black and white thinker comes across as ‘fingernails on a chalkboard’. I do apologize for that. However, it is with purpose that essays are written.
I suppose I think of essay as similar to speaking in parable. A parable has the capability of easily being twisted and turned – morphed into hideous suggestions on how to live, if taken in by someone who resists the wider scope of things. I remember a heat stroked and dehydrated man who walked for three days straight – barefoot, shirtless, in hot summer, along asphalt, kept on a-walking a couple hundred miles because he had read in the Bible that we are to become like the birds and the lilies. He was unable to take the best of that parable and utilize it for what it was meant to do for us. He was mentally ill. A parable is only a part of the story and still, Jesus himself used this form of communication. As important as noticing the way Jesus delivered information is noticing how he did not say things. He did not give the outlined dissertation on faith, prayer, and woman in leadership. Why? Because The Listener, The Curious, The Pondering Soul is open, and from that heart place Jesus had something to say. The simple big picture, if noticed, changes us. I like Jesus’ style. I also like the ways of poets, musicians, and essay creators. Speaking to the things rarely noticed awakes my fixated existence and grows me.
And so for the one who wonders why I write on cancer when I am clearly not on my last breath, I say to you, cancer is not a destination, it is a hovering roommate – moves in uninvited and shows up at will. Leaves remote and occasional internal experiences that are less harmful when shared.
Why write about faith? Because holy sightings of the unknown are brought to focus best when expressed.
Why write about parenting and marriage when I clearly have not arrived? Because I learn when I write. I share because we learn from each other’s mistakes and struggles. I write with the hope that, in turn, you will share yourself.
Why write about burning dinner? I say ‘tell me what you’re most ashamed of and you and I strangers will become you and I, friends’.
This is writing for me.
A process of vulnerabilities,
of incomplete ideas,
of the unspoken.
The choice I made when I started blogging.
That great exchange.
‘What Will Others Think’
There are no ’10 Best Ways’ for that.
And so I meander.