Archive for April, 2014|Monthly archive page

On Writing, On Blogs, On Trees, On Life

In Life, Writing on April 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

This is a tree with a bird in it.

Perhaps I never wrote my intentions as a writer, because I needed time to learn what writing meant. How would mine be different? How would it sound? Why would it matter?

I am rather weary of technology. Not the telephone or the tv screen, but anything that came into widespread use after I was ten.

So, I was wary to start a writing blog several years ago, from a computer lab in a rural town in Ecuador, because although I had experiences I wanted to share, in the plethora of travelogues, movie mom reviews, tiny kitchen cook-offs, and celeb hotspots, I couldn’t see how adding one more voice to the din would add anything but din.

And after a few years, I don’t think it has. Maybe my 2.75 readers would argue otherwise, but I can’t say I’ve thrown back my robin’s song to anything but the (illiterate though inviting) light of an early dawn.

Of course I approach philosophical waters here, the deep kind you find at the edge of a beach of white stones. Namely, I’m venturing to ask, as in writing, as in voting, as in thinking, as in living: what does being here, Here, in this room in this building in this world, what does it really matter? If we’ve so many bodies filling another chair, lungs taking another breath, eyes seeing another color that has been seen, is being seen, and will be seen by so so many for so many years gone and going by, why do our selves matter?

Let me tell you:

Let me just pluck one philosophical drop from those waters, one of which we are all already very aware how it wets our skin. But did know what it can do to your tongue?

Open up, I’m going to put a drop on each of you.

“If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear, does it make a sound?”

Does the tree make a sound? The truth is, that doesn’t matter, either. If no one is there to hear it, no one hears it and goes home to tell the tale of the mighty crack. To sit with a baby on their knee and impart to them the reverberating scurry of the mice and rabbits. Books are not written examining the fall from all angles, going back to just as close as the rings will allow, charting graphs and testing minerals to make some meaning of it all. Talk shows don’t run features on local lumberjacks; families don’t gather a little closer around the fire.

If we are not there to tell the story, our absence is the only thing that matters, not the sound. It is the story, not the sound. Because through the story, the sound is heard. It becomes wrapped in many voices making many sounds. That is how it lives.

And since trees are going fall in woods, since winds are going to blow and ants are going to gnaw, fungus is going to grow, and blight is going to strike, since trees are going to fall and everything is going to turn from alright to night, from time to time, we share our voices, when we need to, to understand and to celebrate, because, when we use our voices, even the end is a birthday. Our stories, our writing, our speaking, our sharing, our voices falling on each other when we are there to hear, when we are able, begins new sound, which is new life, is renewed life for us all.