“Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. We live and die, age beautifully or full of wrinkles. We wake in the morning, buy yellow cheese, and hope we have enough money to pay for it. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on the earth. We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter.”
~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones
This approach to writing, I am now learning, is an important part of the purpose of my life. Real life is where the magic, the heartbreak, the disappointment, the joy and hope of, well, everything happens. Like “Seinfeld,” the most popular TV program of all time that was a show about “nothing,” so too are our real lives — everything and nothing.
By “real,” I mean not the B.S. and the stories and the lies and excuses. I mean the truth. The core of who and what we are. The fruit that is left over once everything else is peeled away. I also mean the minutiae that is our stressful morning or our sleepless night. The conflicts, the regrets, the old resentments. The dreams, the progress, the belly laughs and the support.
Think that real stuff is boring or silly or inconsequential? Think again. It is the entire world. And it is yours, and all of ours, too.
And part of my “job” is to write that way myself and, in the process, teach others to do the same.