In the Brooder
- Apr 5, 2013
Here is one of my recent writings, please let me know what you think!Writing has always held a special place in my heart, but to explain the impact writing has had on my life and to elaborate on how and why I write I feel I must first divulge my view of literacy; as well as, elucidate the opinion I have of reading as being a necessary and influential component in relation to the development of a written work. Once the evidence of my concepts is understood and the history of my past is told, then and only then, will my writing methods and processes become apparently clear. Creative by nature, I have always enjoyed reading and writing and have had a passion for them since I was very young; however, it was not until later in life, after a series of horrific life events, that I came to realize and understand the true and immense value they held.
The Writer Within
The Writer Within
In my opinion, literacy can be loosely defined as the ability to read and write and the comprehension thereof. It is the mental and physical capacity of that ability which sets the human species atop a pedestal far superior to the rest. It is the common thread that binds us, collectively and throughout the span of ages. It can link the past to the present, the present to the future, and specific thoughts or feelings to certain actions or reactions. Writing allows an idea, impression, or emotion to be captured in time, thus permitting review or remembrance at a later date. Reading grants our psyche the ability to take written symbols and compile them into concise, coherent concepts and processes; which affords accurate comprehension of the completed piece. I believe reading and writing go hand in hand and it stands to reason that one cannot be a great writer, unless one is also an avid reader. “Once upon a time,” was the introductory phrase to nearly every story I was read to or read as a small child; and as with most good fairy-tales, those stories generally concluded with a happy ending. During my youth, it was the content within those tales that was reflected in my writings; I loved writing short stories about beautiful faeries and talking pink bunnies. As an innocent young girl, I was absolutely convinced that my life was going to turn out like the ones in those beloved and treasured books. Unfortunately, unlike those in fairy-tales, my life did not turn out so picture perfect.
Southern grown, I was taught that people were polite, mannerly, and kind; and in my eyes, the world was all rainbows and sunshine. It was not until the winter of ’97 that I realized how cruel, dark, and morose this world could actually be. That year my family and I watched in horror as my three year old cousin was ripped away from us, transformed from a happy little boy into a beautiful guardian angel, all due to the arrogance and ignorance of a few select medical professionals. The event was heart wrenching and to deal with the pain I turned to writing; the words flowed from my hand like a letter waterfall and with fervor and precision they joined to form verse after verse of beautiful, sorrowful poetry. I became enthralled by reading and writing poems, and each poem I wrote represented a tender, cherished memory which I was adamant to never forget. The summer of the following year would bring even more horror into my life; as my soul was stained by the desecration of another when I became a victim to his sinister, twisted, and wickedly surreptitious passions. This event resulted in me turning inward and tuning out all surroundings, seeking solace and comfort in books and paper. I spent the following two years locked inside my bedroom, where I became well acquainted with Edgar Allan Poe, Alexander Dumas, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I was bewitched by the magic that was locked within the pages of those books; for, they granted me freedom and peace with each new story and adventure I read. Throughout that period of my adolescence, I learned a lot about different writing styles, grammatical practices, and use of expressive words. My vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds and because of my passion for history and science, my knowledge bank increased as well. Books became my companions and I read to escape from reality; writing became therapeutic for me and much like Sherman Alexie in his story “The Joys of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” I simply wrote because “I was trying to save my life” (448).
My life continued this way for another 10 years, where books took place of friends and writing took the place of medication and medical professionals. My grandmother, a voracious reader herself, was my only confidant. I felt she was the only person in the entire world who understood me or even cared about my existence. If I felt alone, I knew she was only a phone call away. That all changed the year I turned 25, because that was the year my grandmother went to join my cousin in the realm of Heaven. After her passing “a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit” (Poe 1) and my life began a dizzying plunge into spiraling chaos. I began writing daily, scribing all of my thoughts and feelings into journals as if they were fact. I poured my soul onto page after page of tear soaked paper and when the words were no longer a sufficient outlet, I let the emotion grow within me. I watered it with alcohol and tears and fed it a diet of anger, sorrow, and despair. The darkness began taking over, creeping into every corner and crevice of my mind like a dark plague. I could no longer read. I could no longer write. I was giving up, clinging to the last bit of sanity with clinched fists. When I thought all hope was lost, that’s when I found him. He would turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to me, he was my saving grace. I married that man and it was because of him, I found myself again. I began reading and writing again, except this time my writings were sunny, warm, yellow and full of happiness, joy, and triumph. I started writing for fun, because I enjoyed it, and I still write for fun. I think it is due to all of my personal life experiences that I have become a stronger writer, because it gave me the opportunity to become intimate with various types of writing styles and literary composures. Although my life has been somewhat of a struggle, it has also given me the chance to become a successful writer -- a feat that, for the most part, is a seemingly difficult task to achieve.