There’s a quote from one of my favourite plays The History Boys that just came to mind while I sit here ruminating on my situation. “Pass the parcel, thats sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it, and pass it on.”
Here’s another one. “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”
I think that the connection of these two are quintessentially why I’m writing this blog in the first place. Selfishly, I don’t want my story to go untold. Everyone’s lives, every single one of them are never going to be the same as another. My experiences may be parallel to some, but my words and my telling of those experiences are unique to me. There’s a short story by Jorge Luis Borges called The Library of Babel, where they say every combination of words to ever be written in the history of time are placed. That most of them would be plain gibberish but through the laws of probability every classic novel, every poem, every word ever written would be found somewhere in that library. Had Hemingway not written a word in his life that A Farewell To Arms would still exist in the infinite world of letters and time. We spoke about this at uni and the thought process as an author can go two ways in this hypothetical situation. That anything I write is meaningless because it’d one day be written elsewhere in some other form, that my writing isn’t unique. Or, that because of this I get to lay claim over those words as my own, that what I (or any other person on earth) write is special.
I’ve begun sharing my work because while it’s cathartic and therapeutic for me, it could also be the hand that reaches out and grabs someone else’s in a moment of darkness. My hope as a literature student is to write novels, to make my passion my career. Yet as with all people who have dreams, there’s a big chance that won’t happen. This doesn’t disappoint me. The fact that an inner monologue shared on a blogging site could be my only foray into reaching others isn’t a depressing or hopeless idea.
Before all of this, I shared this sort of writing with my psychiatrist for the simple fact that I wasn’t ready to even say it to myself. He urged me then, months ago now, to share this material when I was ready. In fact that gentle nudge was the reason I changed my course at uni to creative writing. Since posting my blog for the first time publicly four days ago the messages I’ve received have been incredible. One of the responses I received from a friend Tyson, who doesn’t mind me sharing this, was that I’d “captured lightning in a jar”. I hope I can keep doing that.
If I can do that for one person, pass the parcel of my experience onto another then this is all worth it.*
*A six figure book deal wouldn’t go amiss though.