Reading Susan Johnson’s A Better Woman. She writes about the essence of being a writer: how often they feel different, come from difficult backgrounds and lonely childhoods, “children whose interior worlds somehow became more radiant than the regular world witnessed by eyes.”
She writes of her yearning to write, to “move people in the same way I had been moved by books which illuminated the experience of being alive.”
It struck such a chord with me – the exquisite flame of creation, the feeling of laser like inspiration, the need to understand, encapsulate, pass on. A writer on her death bed will say in wonder, “So this is what it’s like!” Life was always too brilliant, too moving and very lonely. It is like living in a foreign language, seeing and yet dwelling among people who are blind. Then translating from ecstasy into the mundane. I always thought part of my job as a writer was to see the extra, take people’s lives and present them back to them, illuminated and framed.
Thought of research on introverts and extroverts, where the introverts are more sensitively tuned and how extroverts turn up the volume in life just to know they are alive. Is it the same with creative people? I need peace and contemplation just to balance the intensity of the experience of being alive. I look at others rushing, know I don’t want to, wonder if it is some lack in me that I live a low key life, yet it is so rich in thought and wonder, kindness and reciprocation that I don’t honestly think that more would be better.
Of course, the question is, could I be more useful doing something else? I don’t know, but do try each day to have loving, fruitful encounters, to validate and to hear each person I meet. Also so often there is information I can pass on, links to be made and huge satisfaction watching someone’s life going well, recognizing God in them. Like today when heard a friend had the courage to fly to Mexico to get MS surgery. Then her joyous email telling us of her improvement.