There are some things I keep selfishly to myself.
A year or so before John Mayer launched his first album, a friend gave me an unlabeled cassette tape which I ended up playing over and over again. It was a live recording of a gig in a small cafe. It began with, “Hello, my name is John, and I’m here to play you some songs.” I didn’t even know “John’s” last name until Room for Squares came out in 2001.
I don’t share a lot of things with other people. I don’t feel the urge to let the world in on everything I do, or on my every thought and feeling. Not in this age of social media. Certainly not before its advent.
Yet, I write. Yet, this blog exists. That I even started it was confounding. In the past, I wrote stuff and sometimes showed it to close friends. Often these were bits and pieces of my young (and stupid) broken heart, disguised as poems. Back then, there wasn’t much to hide when the wreckage was there, plastered on the pavement.
It’s because, while there are things that I’d like to—and I should very well—keep to myself, there are others that, I feel, need to be shared. A line from William Nicholson’s Shadowlands says, “We read to know that we are not alone.” Maybe I write for the same reason.
I know that this post, like the others that came before it, will not reach a lot of people. And strangely enough, I do take some comfort in that. I know that it will not be read by my 100 or so followers on twitter, and certainly not by my facebook friends, many of whom do not even know that this blog exists. But if you’re reading it, and I haven’t bored you to death after 310 words, and it sparks something in you that makes you feel like you can see parts of my soul where I had drawn these words from, then maybe I wrote this for you. So you will cease to fear and you will begin to honor those places within you that you do not have words for.
And as I write this, thinking of you and what you might be thinking as your eyes follow my words, this exact moment when my thoughts seek yours, I, too, am not alone. A wonderful rarity that trumps a thousand likes, whether sincere or perfunctory. The singular and the divine puncturing the tiniest of holes in the dark canvas of every day, nothing more than a needle prick, but more than enough to let in all the light that I need.