What has become clear?…

When I started this blog several years ago, among my aims was to get some practice with writing essays. 

I’ve posted fewer of them in the past year for two main reasons – at nearly opposing ends of the sad/happy spectrum: a life-threatening accident of a close family member, and later being able to return to working on a book manuscript. 

Now that positive milestones have been reached with both (a full recovery and a completed first draft), it seems like a good time to ask – as Emerson is said to have posed when greeting friends  – “What has become clear to you since we last met?” 

Thinking about how I would answer this reminded me of an essay I posted all the way back in 2015, taking off on the maxim, “Write what you know.” Turns out seven years is a nice round time period for taking a look at what has crystallized in the interim. Herewith, a few fresh observations…

…You have to go there to get there.
Some writers write under almost any conditions. Others find they can only write when circumstances allow. In my case, “survival journaling” keeps me going when I can’t get to other writing. And when there finally is an opening in the mindspace for more, I usually can’t know the emotions and insights I’m about to mine until well after I get started. A rich sample topic follows… 

…Ghosting may not mean what you think it means.
Ghosting used to refer to deliberately ending a relationship by no longer responding to messages. It’s been broadened to apply to any unexplained dropping of contact. Depending on the role in your life of the ghoster, a wide range of emotions attends the common human experience as the ghostee. My point is that since I don’t get to know the “why,” I’m better off not filling in the blank with negative assumptions.
This is useful as well for other things which may not work out, because…

…You can’t fully acknowledge your desperate desire for something without opening yourself up to the potential pain of not getting it. 
Not much elaboration needed, except to add that when it isn’t working out, you don’t always know if you’re at the end of it – or just in a waiting period. 
And while you’re in the dark about it, for who knows how long the moonlit night, it’s good to know you’re safe there because…

…There’s no such thing as moonburn.

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