When I started writing 20 or so years ago, it began as an act of survival. It was a pen across a blank page that held me to this earth, grounding me during a time I was groundless.
As I slowly regained my footing and strengthened myself through reflection, hard truth, and responsibility, writing became an art of life, a workbook where I dreamed into a future I could not see, where I planted seeds that became the garden of my life now.
I continue write for many reasons at different times in my life. Sometimes I write to remember. Sometimes to let go. Sometimes I write to identify, revise, and clarify my dreams and hopes; other times I write to hear the voice of my soul.
When the waves of Life get wild and I feel untethered, I write simply to hold on. During times of emotional upheaval, when I am mired in my own darkness, flailing and full of fear, I allow myself to unleash on the page, give voice to my furious and ugly and sad and swearing self. Because in honoring the darkest parts of myself, I am honoring my whole self.
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
Though I am well-acquainted with my darkness, sometimes I don’t want it to live in my journals. So I tear it up into tiny bits, reorganizing it, turning pain into art.
The art of life is not denying that we are both dark and light. It is in our darkest moments that we have an opportunity to gain insight, wisdom, and strength.
So write with wild and ugly abandon. Then destroy it and turn it into art. Make your life your art.