I find myself less and less interested in the company of books.
And less and less enthusiastic about losing myself in movies or TV series, even with the amazing stories we’ve had, and lost lately.
I’ve become more and more interested in how we are connecting to each other outside of books, and theaters, and screens.
I don’t know what kind of writer that makes me.
I do know it makes me question what I’m doing writing and writing and writing into the early morning some days.
Then there’s the reality that I admittedly hate crowds, or really any gathering larger than three. (Beyond that, it’s information overload, for me.)
…Unless, I can address the collective mass of people as one. Even then one other person, maybe two other people, is better.
But how can I think so much, and care so much about connecting when, for me, “connecting” means sitting in a room, with one other person, while doing nothing?
Or connecting means plucking painfully at a guitar, that I don’t know how to play, while another person and I make up games to pass the time.
Connecting is what happens in the moments between talking, and doing, and assessing everything.
Connecting means not having to pretend anything.
I’ve been wondering lately if books and stories really connect us, as much as keep us in our separate fictional bubbles safely tucked away from one another… something to chat about to avoid really seeing or talking to each other.
On the other hand, some of the moments in life that were the most meaningful to me, happened because of a book, or a film, or a play. It wasn’t about the story itself. It was always about the moment when another person turned to me and revealed something about themselves, they wouldn’t otherwise reveal, because of something they had just read, or heard, or seen. It prompted them to express a part of themselves that they weren’t otherwise going to express.
I felt like that.
I lived through that.
I want to love like that, too.
Maybe that is harder to connect to online.
As a kid I wrote to express love, to attack injustice, to change one small portion of the world.
Somewhere along the way that all changed.
Now the main reason why I write, to connect, feels wobbly. And I’m questioning what stories can really do and be in the world, and what they mean to me.
At the same time, I get excited about what happens in relationships and in the world, when stories prompt people to look each other in the eye and reveal things they wouldn’t otherwise reveal.