I want to write words that mean something. I don’t want it to be something that disappears, a line that’s said and never remembered, a movie you watch and can’t quite remember how it ended. I haven’t sat down often these past few months to pen my thoughts. Maybe I’ve been less pensive. Maybe I’ve been too busy. Maybe I just don’t care. We all have dry spells. I have been thinking. I’m always thinking. You can’t walk a mile and a half each day by yourself and not think. I probably come up with ten good ideas during every walk home from the bus stop, and forget nine of them by the time I get home. I usually forget the tenth one, too, just after supper.
Neglect. I don’t mean to neglect. I have been writing. A few things have been published, a few thoughts committed to paper. I certainly haven’t been focused. It’s hard to be focused when you’re married. Part of me loves to just dive into the computer when I get home and type and type and type. And then part of me remembers that I have a wife and I can’t spend all my free time in front of a computer. And some days I’m absolutely sick of sitting in front of a computer and you couldn’t pay me enough to sit in front of one at home. But those days aren’t too frequent.
Focus. It’s also hard to focus when you consider the medium. Audience is a blessing and a curse. Knowing your mother reads what you write is not always encouraging. Sorry Mom, that’s the way it is. What do you think Shakespeare’s mom thought? She was probably always reading into his work and wondering if he was suicidal or gay or just plain nuts. And you can’t really avoid audience. I can’t tell my mom not to read what I write. But sometimes it makes you hold back. That’s the problem with these online journal things. They’re the latest and the greatest, but they’re really not as real as everyone thinks they are. Some people are so careful in what they say and what they imply. They know who is reading and who’s probably not, and they know what they can say and what they need to insinuate. It’s almost a game.
And it’s not just my mom. It’s my wife. It’s my friends. It’s my in-laws. Sometimes you have things on your heart that you really don’t want others to know you’re thinking about, or at least you’re still trying to work them out for yourself. Or it’s an issue you just don’t want to be open about at this point in your life. That’s what the old physical pen and paper is for, but I’m a child of the 90s and I just can’t move the pen as fast as I can think. I have a better chance with a keyboard.
So what do you do? You drift away. You lose focus. You find another medium.
Some days I wonder if these Ponderings are slowly dying. I hope not. But in some ways they may be. I’m 23 years old. I’m married. Children are on the horizon. What happens then? Can I blabber about my kids for the whole world to read? Is that really something I want to do? Won’t they be embarrassed in high school when the Google archives uncover their dad’s ponderings about the time they peed everywhere but the toilet while potty training. Do I really want to subject my kids to that? I suppose the answer is yes. After all, I am a writer. Most other writers just publish a book and rake in the royalties off their kids’ embarrassing childhood moments.
Sometimes it’s just a wash. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Maybe I’m just afraid of talking about certain subjects with certain people. Is that a healthy fear? Or is that just a societal impulse that keeps us from being open with each other? Maybe I just need to loosen up and say whatever I want and offend whoever gets offended.
Maybe I’m just moving on. Maybe it’s another phase of my life. I used to love making Web pages. I haven’t made one in a while. I don’t even take the time to archive the proper months of these ponderings. Is that just a shift in my focus? A change in my priorities? Are the insignificant things in my life suffocating me? But what else are you going to do, drown in dirty dishes?
I can only ask questions and wonder why. Wonder as I wander, and some day we’ll get to where we’re going. Children ask questions. They’re always wondering why. Sometimes we can learn something when we stop to ask. We may not get an answer, but the wonder is still there. The openess is still there. The ability to learn and grow is still viable, and so there is still a chance.