Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Because You Deserve Better

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
--- William Wordsworth

First, how could a guy with the last name of Wordsworth not be a writer? I mean seriously, right? And yes, Wordsworth really was his last name and he, together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication "Lyrical Ballads" way back in 1798. As you may have gathered from the title of his first writing venture with Mr. Coleridge, Wordsworth was a poet; in fact, he was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850. I'm betting the significance of his surname wasn't lost on Mr. Wordsworth, and I'm guessing I'm not the only person who upon hearing his name immediately thought, "What are words truly worth? What are they worth to other people? What are they worth to me?" Pretty deep, I know, but I think it's definitely worthy of some pondering and mulling over.

I first read the quote at the beginning of my post this evening many, many years ago when I was a student in college, and the words of Mr. Wordsworth obviously made a lasting impression on me. So much so that I once wrote them out on a note card and taped the card on the ceiling of my bedroom to serve as a constant reminder to me of the importance of writing from my heart. If I haven't learned one other thing about writing in all the years I've been putting pen to paper, I've learned this ... Mr. Wordsworth was absolutely correct in his instruction. But I would add something else to the indisputably wise words he penned so many years ago ... if you can't fill your paper with the breathings of your heart, you need to stop filling your paper until you can.

Have you ever fallen so hard that you got the wind knocked out of you? So hard that you wondered if you'd ever be able to breathe again ... so hard that you were sure you were going to die right then and there? I know I certainly have, and it's such a scary feeling when it happens ... it's almost like you can feel the life being sucked right out of you. It's one of those feelings that stays with you, one that you hope you never have to feel again. It's terrifying ... completely and utterly terrifying ... to wonder if you'll ever be able to suck the air back in again. You struggle to breathe ... you want to breathe ... you need to breathe. But you can't, at least not for a while anyway ... you just can't breathe.

Many of you have written asking where I've been and why I haven't been writing, and you deserve better than me offering up no explanation as to my missing in action status. And that's what this post is ... it's my feeble attempt to explain as best I can why I'm not writing much right now. You deserve to know that I'm not writing because I can't write the breathings of my heart, and until I can do that once again ... well ... my heart and I need to take a breather for a while. Thank you for your notes and your kind words, friends ... I appreciate each one of you so much more than you'll ever know.

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
--- William Wordsworth

No comments: