Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I've got a friend going through a difficult time in his life. I haven't blogged about it much - don't want to gossip, don't want to air his laundry, don't want to make a specatacle of what's a really deep and hurtful twist, don't want to leave details around when we might have mutual friends/readers here. I've been emailing with him, back and forth, hopefully looking ahead to being able to share conversationally over a macchiato somewhere. What I'm finding is that I've been sharing what I would consider some of my best writing in a long while, and I can't blog it because it's too personal.
I write for me in this blog, and while I appreciate being read by others, I really write what I want to read, linking to what I'll want to re-visit, covering topics that I want to ponder and ponder again. I'll change names and places, or I'll write in parables to hide what I'm really thinking/doing - but by and large, I'm pretty self-centered when it comes to writing in this space. Or at least self-directed.
That sounds selfish, but right now I'm really seeing a pattern in the letter writing that should help my writing in general, and hopefully that also helps relationally in sharing screen text. It's all about taking time. I re-read everything I send to him, four or five times, making sure I've chosen the right words, the right phrases, the right movie references or jokes to make the right point and lead us towards some kind of mutual resolution and moving-on gameplan. It takes time to write well, doesn't it? Most of the time, I just start typing and blogging, not taking the time to spellcheck - much less taking the time to make sure what I'm trying to say is worth saying and worth saying well.
So my interaction with my good friend is stretching me as a writer, and probably stretching me as a good friend. Good relationships are like that: both/all participants are encouraged and challenged by the other/s. I don't have all the answers, and often don't have any answers. Even as I try to give him every benefit of every doubt, I still trust that he's paying attention, and that I'm trying my best to hear his heart in the exchange. It's not just about what I can give to him in terms of closure, healing and forgiveness, but what he's also bringing to the table in terms of patience, reasoning and just getting on with life. Good friends give, and receive, naturally.