Thursday, November 02, 2006


Writing is my therapy. What I write is not who I am but who I was, and through the transformation I become who I can be.

I realized this today, when in my fit of sadness that was keeping me from doing anything but thinking about...well, the reason I was sad, I sat down and began to write about two and a half pages of explanation. To whom? To myself, mostly. Dear Lorn: this is what you are thinking, and why, and you can deal with it this way, or this other way, but in any case you must deal.

And then I put the pen and pad of paper away and played my trombone. I went to lab band and had the benefit of having to read some hard charts, that kept my focus solely on what I was doing in the moment.

When I left rehearsal I was about halfway to my locker before I remembered that before, I had been so genuinely sad I couldn't even make myself warm up on my instrument. I tried to remember why I had been sad and was successful, but it didn't make me sad again. No, I thought, it's all written down somewhere else. I don't have to carry it with me anymore. I am free, as I wished to be in the last paragraph or so of my afternoon writings, to go about my life without the gravity I held before.

This is not the first time this has happened this year- in many ways this isn't even the biggest occurrence. In September I let go of a long-standing pain by merely writing an email, and when I went back to read what I had written, I remembered the sentiment but not the anguish. It was no longer empathy, but mere sympathy that moved me. Sure, it had been a long time coming, this letting-go, but the writing is what finally loosened the moorings.

In the same way, I am no longer the person who started this blog five and a half years ago. In the movie Waking Life (which Tim in his wisdom encouraged me to see), a woman makes the observation that our cells regenerate every seven years, and we can therefore see ourselves as completely different individuals from our childhood selves or even from our college-age selves. Of course we don't feel ourselves change. I think great steps in consciousness happen more quickly than gradually, but our overall progression through life is nearly unmonitored. Friends who we haven't seen in years can attest to this change. How often am I annoyed at an old acquaintance from high school who will make a big deal out of how much different I am now than then?

When I read the archives here I often can't remember writing particular entries, or even what moved me to write them in the first place. I enjoy them, and I think to myself that they are funny or touching or innocent or raving, but I can't really recognize myself in them. I have memory of the events they recount and I might reminisce for a while about them, but it's merely a photograph of something once seen.

So are we who we were then? And now? Are we always the same moment to moment or do the subtle changes make us a stranger from ourselves of the past minute? If we are always learning and experiencing, our reactions are always evolving, and is it not our reactions that play a part in who we are? We might despair one day over the love affair that could never be but months later laugh at how silly it all seems. Can we judge that person we were who fought so desperately for someone we thought would bring us happiness? Can we judge ourselves at all or do those judgments serve only as lessons to finding our next adventure?

For me, I change through writing. It makes a physical imprint of my thoughts and experiences, and in doing so I leave myself open and willing to learn more. I may not always feel the shift, but even in being imperceptible, it is monumental.