I was thinking of the reasons why I write earlier. There are many of them–cheap therapy, defining my relationship with God, getting a story out of my head and onto paper or the screen, describing the world around me, using words to paint a picture, making a record of my life. But, there is a quote I found which explains my reasons for writing perfectly, and I want to elaborate on it today.
First, the quote. Anais Nin had this to say about writing. “The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say but what we are unable to say.” Unable to say. There are many things I am unable to say. There have been many things in history people haven’t been able to say or haven’t been listened to when they said them.
But, when they’ve been written down, it’s another story. Nations and people’s lives have been changed by the written world. I think of characters from The Color Purple or Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin which inspired a country to change. I also think of such books as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, 1984 by George Orwell, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Each of these books, in its own way, changed the lives of its generation and the generations that followed making them the classics they are today. They illustrated thoughts and feelings that made people see issues in a different light which made talking about them easier. So, writing about the things we cannot say has changed the world.
It has changed my own world also. I have written things about my faith and about my own thoughts and feelings that I would never dare say out loud. Things about doubt and lack of trust. Things that have made me wonder if I have any faith at all. I have written things about people who seem so put together whereas I know that I’m falling apart. Why would these people want to be my friends when they have everything together, and I don’t? I don’t want to say it out loud though. My fear of losing friends is too much if I said it out loud.
But, writing it, writing it I can do. I can write my words about doubt and lack of trust and understand them better. I can write my words about how messed-up I am and imagine that someone else is taking solace in them. I can write my words about jealousy and envy and pray that the Holy Spirit would fill me so full that I wouldn’t have room for the feelings God doesn’t want me to have. I can write my words about having courage to meet that put-together person, and that maybe, maybe, we might have something in common. I can write the words I am unable to say.
Writing has changed my life in ways that couldn’t possible be imagined. It has given me the courage to live amidst the doubts, the ability to sort out my thoughts and feelings, and the knowledge that I am who I am no matter how much the world would like me to be different. What I have to say is important whether it is said out loud or written down. For if we did not write down the forbidden things, we would never have the chance to change our world or understand it better. I, for one, have decided it is too great of a risk so I will continue to write down the forbidden things, to write down what I cannot say so I can be understood.
This is a continuation of my month of prompts series.
Is there one line from a movie that makes you laugh or smile every time you
hear it? Or that you quote frequently? What’s the line and what’s the movie?
Do you remember it because of the film? Or perhaps because of the people
you were with? How would you persuade someone else to see the movie?
There are plenty of lines from movies that make me laugh. In fact, there are lines that make me cry too. If a movie or television show touches me in a particular way, quotes from said movie or television show will enter my quoting vocabulary, and I will use a quote when a situation arises in my life.
The quote I’m going to discuss today comes from the movie Independence Day. Not the one that came out this year, but the one that came out twenty years ago. I’ve talked before in this blog about how watching this movie on the Fourth of July every year has become a family tradition. https://writewhatyouknowdotorg.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/family-traditions/ So, it makes sense that this movie would also contain lines that I’m fond of quoting.
Here’s the quote: “I’m a pilot. I can fly.” Randy Quaid’s character of Russell Casse speaks this line to Adam Baldwin’s character of Major Mitchell towards the end of the movie when they are recruiting pilots to go up against the alien spacecraft. What makes the line so interesting is that Russell Casse is sobering up when Major Mitchell questions him and delivers it in a memorable accent. Memorable enough that I use the line years later whenever I am trying something new. I use the line especially if the something new I’m trying is difficult or nearly impossible. I do this because, in the past, I have had problems summoning the courage to try difficult things. Just like the character of Russell Casse. In the movie, his character touched me because, in the end, he did the right thing to save his children and the planet. While I don’t think decisions I would make at the end of my life would be so monumental, I would hope that people would look back at my life and say I did my best to do the right thing.
I would have to say I remember the line because of one of the people I was with when I saw the movie and a person who was not here yet, but who was growing inside of me. Yes, the first time I saw the movie I was pregnant with my first son and was with my husband at the movie. We are both sci-fi people and thought it would be a movie we would enjoy. It turned out we did, and we both have quoted lines from the movie to each other over the years. Even though the movie is special to us because of what it means to our family, I would think I could persuade someone else to see it by talking about the plot, the characters and the interesting science fiction elements. I would also talk about how the people in the movie ended up coming together to save the planet even though they had been so divided before. All in all, I believe this movie would be a great movie to see for anyone who enjoys science fiction.
One year ago, I wrote about the miscarriage I had had the year previously. I spoke of how I was sad, but also, of how I was moving on. A year later I am still sad on this day. I remember what happened with completely clear recall. If you want to read about the day I had my miscarriage, go to the very first post I made in this blog. (Inside a Writer’s Soul–5/30/12)
I don’t think my family will ever forget this day. If I had carried to term, our family would have become a family of five instead of a family of four. I think my sons would have been great big brothers.
I’ve branched out a lot in the past year especially in talking about my loss. It’s something that happened, something that I hurt over, and something that is necessary for me to talk about. It’s just a natural part of me. The online loss community has been a great resource in this area. I’ve also gained the courage to do something I wouldn’t have been able to do last year. I am organizing a balloon release and time of prayer for families in my church who have also experienced losses. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and I felt convicted to do this. I’m finally at the point where I can comfort others who have experienced the same loss I have.
I leave you with this poem.
Dear Child in Heaven
You were a blessing to us all
you were a special child.
And we’re so glad God sent you
to be with us awhile.
You filled our home with happiness
and made our life complete.
The time we had with you
was far too short, but oh so sweet.
Some things we don’t find easy
to accept or understand.
Until we realize they’re a part of
Our Creator’s perfect plan.
Now it comforts us to know
you’re with the angels up above.
While in our hearts we hold you close
Surrounded by our love.
Authored by Unknown
From Wikipedia: “Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.”
It takes courage to do all kinds of things, but what I was thinking of today is the kind of courage it takes to start submitting your writing to places or to even put your writing out there like I’ve done with this blog. Not everyone is going to like my writing. I know that. But, if you live your life in fear, you will never know the good things that could possibly happen. I’m not going to live my life in fear. I’m going to meet every challenge God gives me standing on my feet with joy in my heart.
I especially like what these Scriptures have to say about courage.
Psalm 138:3 – “When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.”
1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous, be strong.”
Psalm 3:3 – “But, Lord, you are my shield, my wonderful God who gives me courage.”
Matthew 14:27 – “But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
I’m looking forward to what comes from this courage. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!