Friday, January 30, 2015

Revealing Self and Protecting Others

Last year, I woke hearing poetry. I penned several poems. I thought I would publish them in a book. Then I doubted. Left them alone. This morning in subconsciousness gray, I wondered that poetry left.
Poetry came at a time I needed to feel it. I always wake with words and phrases in my head. I worked and worked them on the mental sheet, sometimes pushing myself to the keyboard. Then the prose transformed into poetry for a time. When poems flit around, I wrote some, but some died in a recess. Recovery delayed, then abandoned.
One project I feared. The book of poems. Too small? Should I write more? And the biggest fear, too personal loomed over me. Not of my soul to be bared for all, but those involved. Writers struggle with that. As we lay it all out on the line, we have to remember, like a pebble thrown in the water, a slow moving circle reaches the shore carrying our insight. And it may be distorted. It may crash in social media. The pebble grows into a crushing rock.
In one sense, the society is all out there. On the other hand, privacy valued at a high cost. Violation of that privacy could result in high fines, at least in the medical field. Veiling antidotes may not be enough. Everyone at work offers I should write a book about "this place." But really could I? No.
Even in fiction, ah, caution edits. My girls noticed similarities to themselves in Summer Triangle. Yes, I used some events to mold them into Old Forge, Ohio high school. But Old Forge is some place close, but not here. It is imagination intermingled with my perception of reality. Antidotes step into that other world.
I also play around with that other thought, No one is reading me anyways, so write away. What are those few page views going to harm the subject? I'm sure plenty. In my revealing of myself, I hold others behind the curtain. I didn't do that when I first started. I learned the hard way. Some want to be in the limelight- my limelight is fairly dim- and others do not.
Fiction seems safer, but as I mentioned above, people think they recognize themselves. Some are happy, others are not. I've been reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the publication of her first book, Pioneer Girl, with more grittiness than her Little House books. This is only one example, fans want to know the story behind the story. For fiction, though, we combine people and events with embellishment or diminish to create the flow. Laura converting the stories to children's literature was genius, whether it was her daughter's idea or hers or both. I can understand working closely with a daughter, especially a published writer. I peer at the next generation with awe at times.
A fine line then exists with how much to reveal. I hope to help by sharing. Often, though, a guard must stand at words when others are involved. Opening the box of my experiences and thoughts may harm someone else. Yellow tape surrounds a scene yelling at me to not share what I see sometimes. Or the sign tells me that road is closed, don't go there.
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