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I don’t want to be a great story.” ~ Celine

Words are powerful, as potent as memory, as seductive as good sex, as all-consuming as music, and sometimes, as delusional as love. Writing is this strange kind of magic that I cannot begin to understand. The act of it, sitting down and sewing words together, there are times when I do not even feel a part of the experience. The words swirl, the characters sway, the music plays in the background like a film score, and all of it comes together into this string of letters and markings that set tone, structure, and flow. The characters are parts of me, surely they have to be, they come from me. They are manifestations of every experience I have ever had, or been near, but they are also the makings of my imagination. Some days I enjoy joining in the dance, playing make-believe along with them, but other times I am just a conduit for their adventures, helping them along, giving them a shot of adrenaline and puffs of oxygen to keep them going.

People stop and take them in, my words, and sometimes they think that from the action of reading they know me, the real me, the me who is not just a writer, who has an entire other life away from the page, or screen. They craft a me out of characters and lyrics and poetry, making me into some collage of image and scene and song. But, I am the stuff of flesh and blood, not of paper cuts and ink and typed out letters released into the ether.

Sometimes they squint and see themselves in the sentences, too, reading things into make believe meets memories that perhaps feeds a need they have in themselves. Maybe it is for closure, or for clarity, or to feed a emptiness inside. Don’t get me wrong, we all have that need, to be wanted, to be remembered, to inspire someone, and yes, even to be pined away for by someone. But, that summation, that interpretation is about reader, and not the writer. If you see yourself in the words that is more about you, than it is ever about me.

Truth is, I don’t want to be  a great story, no, I want to write a great story and live my life, and I don’t want to be a muse, nor do I want to be a fantasy, a distraction, or someone to escape your life with. Go out and live your life, embrace it, and write your own story. I can’t save you, and I can’t write you, or create you, and just because you read my words doesn’t mean you know me at all.

Before Sunrise (1995)

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