We Write To Know We’re Not Alone (Why I Write)

by admin on March 31, 2010 · 4 comments

I realized that I’ve never explained why we have this website / blog, so I thought I’d do that now.  For the longest time, I resisted maintaining a blog.  I think I had two extreme images of “blogs” in my mind.  First, the “intense confessional journal” blog… somehow I thought I’d have to share my most personal thoughts and feelings, and it felt strange to just put that out there to nobody in particular.  I preferred (and still do) to do that in person.  Second, the “polished, formal and professional” blog… it’s not really my style to use fancy language and complicated words; I prefer a more conversational, engaging tone.  Anyway, since neither of these extremes appealed to me, I decided I’d just keep my thoughts and writing to myself.

It's easy to retreat into one's own mind and journal, which has benefits and drawbacks.

So I actually wrote pages and pages in my own journal, through paper and on the computer.  I learned that writing is really something that helps me to process and to grow as a person, because it challenges me to think about what I’m doing, and the world around me.  It challenges me to change, as I continually learn and realize where I am wrong.

But it’s really easy to keep your thoughts to yourself; there’s only so much you will grow if you never put yourself out there for others to see and engage.  You can formulate theories and opinions all day long, and your computer or journal can become a safe cove of rationalization and self-justification.  It can breed the mindset that you can figure everything out yourself, without the input or wisdom of others.  And behind it all, this was my shield, covering up my fear and insecurity about putting myself out there; concealing my doubt that I had anything of value to offer.

"We read to know we're not alone" is the most famous line from the movie "Shadowlands" (C.S. Lewis is played by Anthony Hopkins).

There’s this great quote from the movie “Shadowlands” (a kind of biography of author and philosopher C.S. Lewis): “We read to know we’re not alone.”  I feel similarly about writing, since it’s not about keeping things to ourselves, but sharing and making connections with others.  And so this website is an attempt to share and connect with others of various perspectives.

You may notice that there are categories about various topics, from food to media to culture and faith.  This is really a reflection of who we are, since we have so many interests and find joy in so many arenas of life… so we didn’t want to create just a “food blog” or a “sports blog” or a “religious/ministry blog.”  And this website is not just a place for people who believe or think in one particular way, but is for everyone we know and care for, and others who want to engage.

Thanks for reading and for all your contributions, whether on this blog, on Facebook, through e-mail, or through conversations that have been stimulated in person!  We are looking forward to continuing the dialogue and getting to know you all better, as we share our thoughts and lives with one another.

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    • Tina Barry

      Hi Adrian,
      A touching and beautifully written blog! Loved reading it. You are always respectful when you put stuff "out there" and I love that about you. Keep it coming!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/nairdanairda Adrian.Pei

        Thanks for the encouragement, Tina! I love hearing from you, and please keep stopping by!

    • CD Robertson

      dearest Jenny & Adrian,
      feeling "in collision with (the) stones I have (thrown)", i write this after reading all five of your Faith & Reflections posts here. My post and embrace of the "I am sorry I'm a Christian" rant was irresponsible. The emotional message I felt from reading this rant was 'adolescent' at best. But the 'color' of the content was offensive. I chose twelve fb friends to send it to on the basis of their faith-based or not life, seeking response.
      My initial reaction after listening to the rant was emotional, this young man expressed my raw emotions to traditional Christian hypocrisy. You aptly point out that the importance is in doing what one believes, not simply speaking of it. Like you, I try to be authentic in the small things of my life so that I may be 're-habituated' to right living in most of my human activities. My mother used to say to my sister and me, 'do as I say, not what I do"–this is near impossible, especially when one's prime role model is one's parent.
      When in the midst of personal Christian epiphany during my senior year in high school, I had the common obstacle of asking 'if God is loving, why do bad things happen to good or unsuspecting people?" It was a Job-like question. It was personal angst based on personal experience. God does answer prayers but not always the way we expect or want. My answer came along from my encounter with Quakers and Quaker practice. At that time when I saw the Quaker witness and personal testimony, "Wow, I said, these Quakers actually act from their Christian faith. They actually practice what they do not feel necessary to speak about." That was over forty years ago. I have wandered off this God-given Path many times, only to return. In my retirement from the oppression of having to work for survival, I have begun to synthesize my witness and my testimony,
      But I am human and not divine. My human ego continues to get in the way. And my guilt about the death and destruction in the name of Christ still lurks and erupts and intrudes.

      You write to know you are not alone. I write to get emotional responses to human complicity and complacence out of my emotion. I do not have enough formal training, ie education, to temper my emotions. Writing makes these foiables apparent so that I can take the next steps: analysis and discernment. My emotions are very primal, especially when mixed with guilt,, personal or corporate.
      To make this blab (old men blab, young blog) condensed, Facebook, for me, is not unlike the scripture, "for now we see in a mirror with darkness, but then face-to-face" Reading your well-thought and well-expressed blogs is helpful to my ongoing struggle between faith and loving action.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/nairdanairda Adrian.Pei

      Thanks for sharing, friend. Your emotions come from a place that is real, which I admire and respect. More than that, you feel beyond yourself to the grief of things done on a bigger scale, which I feel, too… though I have many fewer years of experience. If we're honest with ourselves, hopefully our faltering and struggling keeps us ever humble and learning, as you mentioned. All this to say, thanks for continuing to engage, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

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