To write is to revolt. I’ll explain what I mean, but I want to first call on the steadfast cliche: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” This particularly stiff cliche appears during some of the most important moments of our lives: the moments of loss. And yet I feel we simply deserve better than this.
It isn’t anything new: life has a way of subtracting. You fall out of touch with friends from your graduating class. You no longer feel so young or beautiful. Your best friend dies too soon. Maybe you let your painting slip or you can’t dance like you used to. In general, Adulthood seems to be the time when you lose things, things you had when you were too young to know. Yet I feel there is something always available to us despite loss.
We create. We create with what we have and make something. I believe this: beauty is one of the best things able to justify pain. Of course it tears you open again seeing your ex, and it will definitely smash you if you convince yourself you could have been someone better, but what can be done with these? We deserve more than only being able to meet the most difficult moments of our lives than with a dried out catch phrase.
Writing is an act of revolt. Writing is a strike back against the cage-mentality found in that cliche, for a certain acceptance comes along with it, a silent bedrock-level complacency that keeps us stale and pacified. When we experience loss, that outdated prophecy tells us that only after something is gone can we truly value it, and that is simply how it is. We need to recognize that carrying this belief threatens our ability to live a happy life, lest we are forced to passively accept life and the loss that comes with it and, furthermore, miss the chance to love the presence of life. This is why writing matters.
Writing’s process is its own combination of meditation, action, and creation. It demands that we sit with the thing and hear it out and learn it before making something new, before making beauty. Whatever work comes out of that labor will have have its own value (let it be as gnarled or elegant as it needs to be) but let that be beauty enough.
And so, against loss, against a stalemate life cycle, I write because I want to know the world around me, love it (even the pain), offer myself to it, and keep knowing it even in loss.