A couple of weeks ago, the parents of the children I was babysitting returned home from their party with some news. “We wanted to tell you,” they said, “the hosts of the party asked about the kids and we told them they were with their babysitter, Frankie. ‘Oh, we know Frankie!’ The hosts replied. ‘Friends of ours read her blog!’” Could anything in life be happier?
I am thrilled that people are reading this, and sometimes enjoying it, and sometimes commenting, both publically and privately. It means everything. It means that I have a way of expressing myself, sharing myself, in the best way I know how. It means that I have a place to say all of the things that may otherwise go unsaid. It means that you have a place to hear those things, read those things, know those things. But it also means something else. It teaches me something. It reminds me, daily, that I have something to offer the world.
And really, could anything in life be happier than that reminder? The offering is small, of course. It’s only words. But perhaps, if we’re lucky, you have come here and read a word or a line or maybe an entire entry that has sparked something within you. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, I have inspired you in some way. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, you have seen a little of yourself here, reflecting back on you, reminding you that you are not alone. That’s the purpose of reading and writing. It’s only words, but words are powerful. They connect us. They inspire us. They express all of our many stories and thoughts and feelings. They are an offering of gratitude and love.
I have never left the house without a pen. I consider it an essential tool. I once spent three days alone in the woods with nothing more than a sleeping bag, a water bottle, a journal, and a pen. They were three of the happiest days of my life. When we play “deserted island,” pen and paper are always at the top of my list. It isn’t the practical choice, but also, it is.
Living and writing are one in the same for me. Yes, I could survive without it, but it would be a bleak existence. I never feel more alive than when I write. I am never more myself than when I write. I have never been the same since the day I picked up my first book of poetry and understood what it meant to love words. Yes, I could survive without it, but I wouldn’t want to.
I write because it is in me to write, which sounds like hippie nonsense, but is the only way to explain it. I write because it is my first thought in the morning, because this blog has renewed in me a sense of purpose, because it makes me come alive. I write because it is something valuable. It’s what I have to offer. It’s how I search and discover and connect.
I write because we live in a world throbbing with beauty, because I want to put that beauty into words, and because I want to give some of it back. I do not always create art, but sometimes the inspiration and desire to create is art itself. Sometimes this is enough. Sometimes I am enough. Sometimes, in this small way, if we’re lucky, I can add a little beauty to the world.
Sometimes – most of the time – there is nothing in this world that could be happier than me, sitting here, pouring myself onto the page. And if you have ever sat with nothing more than a journal and a pen while the world blazes and hums around you, you know what I mean. You too, understand that sweet secret. You too, are a reader and writer of the world. You too, have something to offer.
Whatever it is that makes you come alive, do it. Offer it. Be happy. We are all lucky enough to have the chance to add a little beauty to this world.