What good do your words do
If they can’t understand you
Don’t go talkin’ that shit Badu, Badu
On & On, Erykah Badu
Writing is a practice of breaking, becoming and believing. Sometimes I run from it. Sometimes I hide under my blankets in passive rebellion. Other times I sit at my screen blankly or reject it for my journal and, instead of writing, I scribble. I scribble things that I have to do. I write down bills, responsibilities, schedules…things already etched into my soul via the quill of anxiety…things I don’t need to write. They aren’t writings. They are scribbles. They are distractions; much like those little squiggly lines of ink we pressed into the corner of papers in middle and high school, in the most boring of classes. The art of distraction is real. Writing though, is art too, but also a practice. A practice of breaking, becoming and believing.
Writing forces us to break our thoughts and imaginations into articulable building blocks called words, transform those into logical sentences and phrases and perhaps make a stanza, paragraph or haiku. Writing is a breaking of facades. It snatches feelings and thoughts from the realm of the mind, the realm of the psyche, the universe of the spirit and punches them into parchment, into legibility, into a record.
Writing is about (un)becoming who/what we know to be true about ourselves, about our politics, about our desires, about our needs, about our fears, about our “us.” Writing invites us to be and come into the presence of our highest and lowest and truest selves. Through the written word, we are positioned in the face of our thoughts, in the bosom of our (de)constructed realities, in the confines of the spaces we create and (de)stabilize. Writing is about being and coming to truth, and also creating new truths, despite alternative and purported facts.
Writing is also about lying to tell the truth about pain. Sometimes I do this. Most times I do this. I always tell the truth. Always, always, always. But sometimes it can only be heard through my lie, which is the readers truth. Sometimes I don’t have energy to lie for you, but then I know, you cannot possibly hear my truth.