In Case You Are Listening

The first day of 2014. Happy New Year, friends and readers.

Yesterday, I saw a documentary, called Shepard and Dark, about Sam Shepard and his best friend, Johnny Dark. I’m going to watch it again because it was so layered, about many things: Friendship and aging, men and women, art and life, solitude and writing, and more. The themes are set up so subtly. Both men have a lot to say, some of it contradictory, yet all of it true. Each man can see the other more clearly than he can see himself.

I think I’m losing interest in this way of communicating. I’m not sure why. It may have to do with an overdose of social networking, not mine – because I don’t participate in it much – but in general. It becomes apparent that this method of connecting is artificial and even delusional. I remember someone saying – I can’t remember who it was, a writer or a musician – that when we write, we have a reader, a listener, in mind. We are writing to that reader and imagine we are being received by that person. It is happening, but not with our reader. We are read (listened to) by unintended others. Friends and fans and stalkers, but not the one.

I used to write songs that ached to connect and this blog, which I began so long ago that it was originally called an “online journal,” was an extension of that. But I don’t feel that need anymore. I don’t know why it changed. Should I continue to send these missives into the world? For what reason? For the pleasure of writing itself? For the purpose of sharing books and movies and music that I love? To dream, to philosophize? To keep the lines of communication open? In case it matters? In case you are listening?

Now it is the morning after I wrote the above and my declarations seem rash and childish.. What kind of a New Year’s message is it to send out into the world that I don’t want to communicate through writing? It is utterly untrue. Also, this idea of “the one” is not interesting to me today at all and I want to erase that nonsense, but will leave it there to be read in all its immaturity and misguided romanticism. Obviously, there is more than one voice in my head.

Sometimes I feel as if I am a woman talking to herself (or her cats.) Sometimes I feel as if writing is a way of unspooling the wound up thoughts in my head. Sometimes I’m bursting to share something I’m thinking or have seen or read or heard. Sometimes I want to see my thoughts become clear on the page (screen.)

Last night I had dinner with the group of friends from my writer’s group and we had such fun. As we were saying goodbye, two of the women, both very dear to me, were standing together and just absolutely beaming their love at me and I was so moved by it.

Also, i was wearing that beautiful coat I have, the one I bought years ago shopping with Harriet in Boston. My friends commented on it and I told them that I had learned to shop from Harriet and told them about her a little and it made me miss her. Tomorrow is her birthday.

I love to write and I love all of you reading this. I really do. Even if I don’t know you. Even if you are crazy (obviously I am, too, sometimes.) All the best to you in 2014. x

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