Bassey posted this writing challenge on her site today and I thought I’d give it a try. I was trying to keep up with WordPress’s #postaday2011 challenge, until I got into the whole thing mommy-blogger beef last week and then I had to take a step back and a break. And the shooting this weekend, along with some of the rhetoric around the power of words made me…pause. I usually write trying to be all prose perfect and lyrical – like good writing. These letters, perhaps, may be just about getting to what’s underneath, the emotion. I say I’m a personal blogger, and I blog about my life and I reveal personal details, but getting personal is about being really vulnerable. Sometimes I think it’s about hitting publish after the first draft, after you’ve written through tears so you can’t be sure that everything is even spelled right or that sentences have periods at the end. And letter writing like you are writing on a piece of paper, where you can’t spell check and you can’t redo unless you use white-out and who does that anymore?
Dear best friend,
You are really an amalgam of three people who will receive this letter by email after it’s posted here. You have been in my life since adolescence and since college. Yet with you I feel I can be my authentic self, which is the litmus test for best friendedness, in my book. There is little I have to explain to you for you to get me.
I haven’t always been able to be myself with others, sometimes because I didn’t know who I was, sometimes because I feared the response. You protected me against bullies; you lent me money when I’d irresponsibly spent all of mine; you stood by my side through the most important times in my life – when I got married and when my babies were born; you cared for me when I thought I was losing my mind.
We’ve also had arguments, gone days, weeks without speaking on purpose. We are strong-willed women with definite opinions. Sometimes you make me feel stupid, in a way that only someone that I highly respect can do. I don’t think it’s purposeful, and after a few days I get over it. But it does take me a few days :)
We don’t always speak on a regular basis. Not out of animosity, but because lives are full. I regret that almost every day, because I think of you every day. Each of you. Every day. I wonder what you are doing, I wonder about the funny conversations we would be having, I wonder about the mess we would be getting into. But between the kids and the classes and the papers and the time zones….there really is no excuse, but the excuses pile high.
There is little left to say except that I love you. I miss how you say “Not even that…,” your laugh, how you talk on and on and on, the way you pose questions. I guess only one of you truly knows me as a crybaby, but I sit here in tears, both of joy at having you beautiful women in my lives, and at the immense sadness at not being closer, of not having your eyes to gaze into, your touch on my hand, your voice not distorted by wireless signals. Oh, I miss you so much.
With all my love,
p.s. i failed at not spell checking and going through to edit once. creature of habit.