Writing to Understand

If I’m honest, I don’t even know where to begin this blog post. Writing feels awkward to me right now, like trusting two years of high school French class twenty-five years ago to help me correctly greet someone in Paris. Jah… mapelle… what-what? Any confidence or fluency I once experienced is gone. Long-gone.

And yet… Every now and again I stumble upon words that resonate within my spirit. This has been such a powerful experience in the past that I have an entire collection of poetry written around quotes. Mostly, they are quotes from other Poets. Sometimes, they are quotes from Literature. Once in awhile, they are quotes from Strangers in a public place. This morning, surprisingly, they are my own words.

To write it is to understand – or at least to try.

Sarah Elizabeth Moore, Inkless https://sarahelizabethmoore.org/2018/10/30/inkless/

To write it is to understand. This has always been true for me. Writing, for me, is therapeutic. It allows me to consider words and weigh which ones most accurately convey what I’m experiencing – whether it’s a thought, a feeling, a circumstance, etc. – and in doing so, to eliminate what isn’t true. I suppose it’s a form of processing a world that I’ve just never truly understood.

With that in mind, it is, perhaps, not surprising that I’ve avoided pen and paper for so long. I write to understand, but the truth of where I’ve been the last several months (okay – more than a year) is that I don’t understand. I don’t have words. Every time I’ve tried to understand by finding words, I’ve come away frustrated – even angry – because I just don’t have it. I don’t have the words.

Maybe some circumstances are unspeakable. Unwritable. Unwordable.

Maybe I’m wearied by the truth, which is that no matter how accurate the words, the circumstances remain impossible to understand.

To write it is to understand –

but I don’t want to try

The truth is – I can’t face it

I can’t look it in the eye

Yet it haunts, a shadow

Even when the sun is set

Making night skies darker

This living threat of death

I cannot make sense of it

Yet I cannot let it go

To write it is to understand

What I may never know


10 thoughts on “Writing to Understand”

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