“Why do you write?”, someone might ask. It is almost like answering a question on the essence of your existence. I write in order to put into words things and realities that are beyond words. I experience life deeply and for many years now I have had a thirst to share some of what I experience with others. Not all of it can be put into writing, some I prefer to cherish in the depths of my being, unspoken.
Here on the blog I write reflections on life. I take on topics as they present themselves to me through encounters, through seasons or occasional memory that emerges from within me. A good number of people have told me that I should write a book about my life’s journey, and while I have not properly ventured in that direction yet, some of the stories I shared, especially from my childhood, are small stepping stones that one day can easily lead towards writing a book, a testament of what life gave me, what life thought me thus far.
The themes that I most often address are written above the title of my latest entry, “life”, “poetry”, “inspiration”, “church”, “spirituality” and so on. Those who read my blog will soon realise that I regularly write about my Christian faith, as it weaves itself through seasons of the year and seasons in my own life. Some themes will have sub-themes, for example under the “inspiration” you will also find some of the short stories that I have written. Writing101, or in this case Blogging101, are courses I took on WordPress with the main aim to develop a discipline of writing.
Of all the genres I think that poetry most profoundly expresses the inexpressible.
I believe that poetry comes from the deep wells of our heart where only truth and goodness live. Writing a poem is like mining a treasure from within our soul and then when we find it, we can share the treasure with the world and with each other. I love writing poetry, but I also believe that poetry is much more than a poem one writes; it is a way of life. When we look at the world and see innumerable possibilities coming out of a single flower that is clothed in beauty, or inspiration coming from a bird that sings its song in all seasons, then we realise that our every waking moment is filled with poetry. We just need to learn to see life in that way.
I do not often write an ‘opinion piece’ by which I mean I don’t really use the blog to give my view on current affairs. I did this only twice so far, once last year and once just recently. While I find that those took more courage to write and to publish, they have in fact been most read overall , so whenever I wish to increase my readership or rather my ‘viewership’ I may need to consider writing another one (so far once a year may actually be enough).
But I guess I also write because it makes me feel alive. The process of writing is exciting. Often when I start writing, the story or reflection takes me where I had not intended to go. I love that kind of surprise that I have no control over. Writing fiction takes this to a whole new level; as I let my imagination lead me to a far away places I create the setting and meet characters that tell me, their writer, how to write their story. Sometimes the story is already so alive inside me that it writes itself and I merely help it come to life by birthing it through my words.
Writing can also be a means of loving because it can express inexpressible depths that only love can reach and fill. At times I find it best to let experiences integrate within me, instead of wasting them by putting them into words too soon. Other times I will honour the experience or the imagination by letting it take shape in a written word. One does not impoverish the other, they are both a dance of life, shadows dancing with light.
If I did not express at least some of my thoughts and experiences in writing, I don’t know who I’d be. So I guess I write same as I breathe, in order to be able to live.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 16th June 2015)