Blank Pages

Posted: May 19, 2007 in Goals, Homelessness, Hopes

Yesterday, one of the homeless who has been reading this blog on a semi-regular basis asked me what I’m trying to accomplish with my postings. I shrugged my shoulders in a non-committal response and said that I didn’t know, because I honestly don’t know what I’m trying to accomplish – if anything.  

I’d like to think that somewhere along the way that what I write will have a positive impact on one homeless person. Who knows, maybe someone will read something I write and it will prompt him or her to intervene in the life of a homeless person they know and that it will eventually lead to that homeless person getting a chance at a new life. But, then again, I’ll probably never know about it unless I get a comment or an e-mail telling me that such is the case.

Several people have asked me where I get the ideas for what I write.

Luckily, I don’t have to come up with any ideas for any of my postings. Everything I write is about something that has occurred; an event that I’m experiencing; thoughts I’m having or feelings that I’m dealing with. Subsequently, all I have to do is take dictation from my own heart. That makes it easy.

I never really plan what I’m going to write, it just comes out. I never have an agenda at making some high and mighty political or social statement. And, I’m not out to convince anyone of anything. I don’t have the ending plotted out when I start a new post. I just write – and I’m usually surprised at the ending of each posting. There have been a few exceptions to that.

For example – when I wrote my first post, I did it in response to an online blog review of Suckerfish. I had intended to post a comment in response, but there was just too much for me to say in the space provided, so I wrote: "What I’m Feeling Now…" and submitted the web address to the author of the review blog.

Also, when I wrote "Heroes" and "An Open Letter" I knew about a week in advance that I would be writing those postings. I even had the titles already in my mind. And, although I knew what they were going to be about, I had no idea of the words I would use or the order in which they would come pouring out. Nor did I now how they would end.

I had someone else ask me if I’m getting anything out of writing this blog. I’m sure they meant am I making any money at it.

The answer is: No.

So then why am I doing it? Because I am getting something out of it – sort of.

For me, writing this blog is a form of therapy. It allows me to put a dressing on the emotional, psychological – and even physiological – wounds that come about as a result of being homeless. In short, this blog helps me to deal with being homeless. It gives me an outlet to say what is on my mind. It gives me a way to explore my own feelings regarding my present situation. It provides a way for me to get myself centered enough to deal with the day-to-day struggles of just trying to survive.

And most importantly, I do it because I enjoy it.

Each morning when I start a posting, I start with a blank page that has only a blinking cursor. As I start typing the words begin to fill the screen, they have a way of taking a path all their own, until the posting is ready to be published to the site.

It seems to me that life is just like that.

Each morning all of us – homeless and non-homeless – wake up and we get a fresh start at dealing with the world. As we go about our daily routines we fill up the pages of our lives with experiences – both good and bad – that inevitably become a part of who we are. And, how we personally deal these experiences will shape how we deal with the rest of society.

We never really know what the end of the day will be like until we get there.

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Comments
  1. tbearly says:

    Michael,

    Okay. I now feel like I’m becoming either a) a nuisance, or b) a genuine fan.

    Truth be told, neither moniker suits me too well. Perhaps I’ll be able to term it ‘friend from afar’ and leave it at that.

    But as I read a few more of your postings each night – I’ll be finished sometime around, oh… Labor Day – I come across something that strikes me. This posting from May, ‘Blank Pages’, is something I can readily relate to.

    You write because you have a writer inside of you; we all do. You write because writing is therapeutic, and healing, and you probably reach out to the world more through writing than even you believe; I do the same. You’ve started, maintained and added to this blog because it is a labor of love, because it has become something in your life that, while not intended, you’ve probably come to count on it, nonetheless, and in a way, look forward to those blank pages; “check.”

    You’re a naturally gifted writer, Michael. Don’t ever stop.

    Just my $.02 for the day.

    Stay cool, friend. And never fear – the ‘blahs’ always subside, don’t they. They will again.

    -Tracy

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