Letter about writing and words

25th of July 2019

Hi A.

Thank you so much for calling from your vacation. It was so nice to hear your voice. And I am so thankful for the trust you showed reaching out to me. I know that was very hard and a big step for you. And I feel so privileged to be the one you called. And to be part of your journey in the way you have allowed me to be. Thank you for that.

I wanted so much to start this blog. To start writing. To keep writing. Have a place to sort through my thoughts and work through all the mess in my head. I missed writing so much. But here we are. Only a few weeks in and I already find it difficult. I’m more than a little surprised by that. Not that I’m giving up or anything. It’s just a different kind of hard than I imagined.

Maybe it’s the stress. The aftershock of moving, the big scary change of suddenly living in a new place is finally hitting me. The changes and adjustments. The almost settled completely in, but still missing enough small pieces to bother me on a daily basis.
And I started work last week. It’s so great to be back there, but I’m constantly exhausted and have headaches that lasts for days. The adjustment to figuring out my schedule, remembering to make and bring lunch, finding energy to make dinner, the almost 4 hours of transport, bringing work clothes back and forth because it needs to be washed often. It takes a toll.

The work isn’t a real job, and the details of that isn’t important here. But I do keep in mind that there might be any readers out there reading this, now or in the future, who aren’t just us. And they might not understand that I work but don’t have a job and worry I might never get a real job unless I somehow mentions this. And I think I just did.

I can’t really write anything about the work I do anyway. Because the people I work with have very nicely asked that certain things aren’t shared publicly. Not because anything wrong is going on or because they are hiding anything. Just because they know how the world and people online are. A similar workplace got in trouble in the media a few years ago, and that hasn’t been forgotten. The work is ethical, no one is getting hurt, underpaid or anything like that. And I won’t say any more about what I do.

What I will say is that I love it there. I work with some of the kindest people I have ever met. They are patient and full of care. They like their work and are willing to teach me and the volunteers. I always feel so welcome there. And it’s a place full of wonder and I am daily in awe of the place and the things I see and get to do there.

So that place brings me joy. The commute and the energy drain I still feel is another matter. And the last two weeks have been beyond draining and I’ve already had to take a sick day. So on that front it’s good news and bad news.

Maybe the main reason I find it difficult to write anything this week is because the thing I want to write about isn’t something I can share. Not yet anyway. I don’t have the words. I barely have a context that makes sense to me, but my mind is very occupied with this thing and trying to figure it out, which I’m not sure is what I’m supposed to do. And even then… I’m not sure it’s mine to share. It might be. But I don’t feel sure.

And there are so many feelings and thoughts that I’m not ready to write down, even if writing them down would be the best way to translate them from feelings to words and ideas I can grasp.

In a way I feel stuck between my desperate desire to write about it and make it tangible and not wanting any record of this until I’m ready or know if there even should be a record of this.

Writing is for me a beautiful process that allows me to capture thoughts, even (or maybe especially) the ones that are so fleeting and strange that I have no other way of really getting to know them. Thought processes sometimes happens so fast that I lose track of where I am. And then, when I write, something clicks into place and the words flow from my fingertips. I can almost feel the shift in my brain, like some great mechanical weight being shifted and then everything flows. Something unlocks and opens up. Everything becomes clear, as long as it get to go on the page. Not because I don’t pause and think or get stuck. I often have to correct spelling or typing errors. But it’s like there is a path for the words to go. Through my mind, to my fingers, pressing buttons on the keyboard, and landing on that page, all in an order that makes some kind of sense (at least to me). Maybe it’s because I stop trying to catch them. Maybe they become clear because I know whatever I write, will be there when I’m done and I can read it. Whatever is in my mind now has a home, in order, as words on a page, and I know where it is. I don’t need to keep track of it. I can always go back and have a second look, in a way my mind works too fast and too unorganised to allow.

It’s a funny feeling. The shift in my brain, the way something in my mind falls into place, the way my fingers dance on the keyboard and I feel… in a way both not Here and more Here than ever. It’s not dissociative. But it is a loss of something. Maybe the only place I lose control and let whatever happens inside me wake up and express itself. Maybe because it requires some sort of… I don’t know. Maybe writing is the only place I relax because it’s the page is the only place I’m not afraid of letting go.
There is a calmness there.

Whatever leaves my fingers are just words and they can’t hurt me. As long as I know where I put the words when I am done being alone in the space of writing. Whether I save them or destroy them, publish them online or never share them with anyone, is my decision when I’m done. And I decide what impact I’ll let them have on me and the world around me. I can hide them away and never let anyone know these words are a part of me. I can share them and let others take from it what they will. A decision I try to make carefully. Because what leaves my fingers are words! Words. The most powerful thing I know. Words have the power to build us up or to destroy us.

You and I both know that words have the power to twist everything, to spin our heads with lies and make us unsure of what is real or not. But at the same time words have the power to reveal truths, to name things we didn’t have a name for before. I’ve had sentences leave my fingers that left me crying in pain and grief and sorrow, because I suddenly understood truths I had never dared name before. I have felt how the right word can reveal truths hidden under the surface because without the right word I couldn’t fully unlock that truth in my mind. I need words.

I think and understand in words. Without them I am lost and my mind cannot grasp any ideas, feelings or thoughts, without the right words. I know other people are different. Some peoples thinking are more visual or auditory or kinetic. And sometimes I wonder what that would be like. Not being bound to words to understand. Almost like having another language to understand world through. But I need words to translate everything. I both find it magical and wonderful and a deeply lacking and isolating experience. Because it is translating. And so often I am missing words to describe or understand something. But when the word arrives it is a key that unlocks. A new word, phrase or way of using language describing something I didn’t have language for before creates new perspectives and can make me feel so at home or make me feel like the world just expanded and became so much wider and stranger.

I believe wholeheartedly in the power of words. Their ability to heal and create and build. I know that the internet I full of people trying to tear others down and that scares me so much. The dehumanising way I see words used online. But I also see and know and feel the power words have to do the opposite. And I hope that’s what we’ll do here. Build each other up, take care of each other, name things too hard to name if someone isn’t there to hear the words.

And just like that I feel empty. Like I ran out of words. But for a moment the words flowed out of me like I hoped they would. Like I hope they will every week.

I’m thinking of you and I hope you are all right. Or at least as all right as you can be for now. Next time I write you’ll be home from vacation and I hope to have spoken with you again by then.

Looking forward to hearing form you.