A Tree in a Forest…

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?”

If an author crafted thoughtful paragraphs and no one’s eyes found the web page to take them in…

The writer’s creativity flows directly from the heart. Many of us hold a fragile heart gently in cupped hands, timidly presented for others to see. Does that resonate with you?

Today I fought the urge to peek at the blog stats, and I’ll do the same on many other days. The days I peek, I usually have one of two responses:

“Oh my words! People know I exist! I’ve been found—and read!”

“Oh. My. Words. They’re falling somewhere in a forest silently, I guess.”

In the emotional roller coaster response to blog metrics, I learned one thing: I didn’t fall in love with writing because people read what I’d written. (Though it felt good to be read and discuss what was turning over in my heart and mind with others, if I’m honest.) I loved writing because of the precious process and it’s longevity. The written word is a beautiful thing—a gift, really.

The process of writing, for me, is the expression of my heart and thoughts about everyday life and the familiar people, places, and things in it. It’s remembering what was, identifying what is, and pondering what will be…or pretending what could be. The writing process is ordering moments for myself and my own sanity. It’s crafting a story for others, hoping to connect to an other person in another time or place through characters, events, and well-written turns of phrases. It’s sharing “the real Jen” with others and finding other authentic writers out in the big, wide world.

Writing is both solitary and relational at the same time.

Spoken words are puffs of air briefly and vibrantly alive in front of an audience. But each breath carries a new sentence, and with that, the old one fades away, almost forgotten. Our technology captures so much of the spoken word. There’s an app for that. (Dozens of them!) That’s where the spoken word lives beyond the puffs of air, the breath every syllable rode on. I’m thankful I can find things in the “spoken word forest” that I missed or revisit spoken moments I loved. But conversations have to be captured in my forgetful gray matter. That’s unfortunate.

Ah! But the written word…

The longevity of the written word is amazing. We can read the thoughts of people we’ve never met. Their hearts are scrawled on pages, and our hearts are knit with theirs. Thoughts are captured, and we learn, understand, and grow. It’s fantastic! Ancient texts, great classic literature, my contemporary in another city. I know that person existed because I’ve read their words. Wisdom. Truth. Intriguing stories. The reality of everyday life. It’s as if the words continue to live, and the heart behind them continues to beat (even if it’s long gone).

So here, in this little-known corner of the Blogosphere—my words wait. And they breathe the moment they are found as if they fell to the page a second before. A connection between us is created, and it’s like you know me.

And if you comment below, it’s like I know you!

~j

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