“There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”
In two lines, Buffalo Springfield sums it all up for me.
The story of my life. The reason I write. What I write about.
I used to wish I was the kind of person with a well-defined plan. One of the ones who feels confident that when they follow a certain path, they will be on their way to a place that will suit them and make them happy. One of the ones who believe so deeply in a cause or a creed that they feel compelled to proselytize. To convert. Because they cannot comprehend that there is another valid perspective.
How nice it would be to be so sure of yourself. So steady in your convictions.
But I’ve learned (after being beaten over the head with it several billion times) that I am not somebody who sees the world as black or white or good or evil or right or wrong. Don’t misunderstand. I see the right or wrong (good or evil, black or white) in specific acts, but when it comes to the big picture, the one that the specific act is a small part of, I am forever in an area that is gray, where “maybe” usually is the correct answer.
It’s why politics confuse me. And politicians confuse me even more. How can you be so sure that your ideology is going to provide the right answer in all situations? Or even most situations? There are details involved. People, who by nature, are complex beings. What is right in one instance may be wrong in another seemingly similar instance. Or partially right.
Again, to clarify, I’m not opposed to rules and laws that attempt to define what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in our society. I’m opposed to the assumption that those rules don’t have any give, under any circumstances.
The other day, I came across a quote I had forgotten, which helped me to define what it is that I do when I write, since I don’t write in a single genre or time period, since I don’t write only fiction or non-fiction or poetry, since I don’t believe a meaningful piece of writing needs to be a certain length or a certain style to tell a story worth reading.
The quote of which I speak is by the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
I write about real life. About the people that are living it.
It’s human nature to try and fix the things that aren’t working, and in my humble opinion, it is a noble quest. However, maybe if we spent a little bit more time living our lives, a little less time trying to perfect something destined to be imperfect, perhaps we would all get along better.
And be a little happier.
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