for no one

Lately I’m grappling and struggling to come to terms with the prospect of simply writing– without the need for response of any kind, complimentary or critical or simply discursive.

While my chosen web moniker might suggest some degree of equanimity with a state of solipsism, the lived truth little resembles such self-satisfaction.

I imagine most of us who write compulsively do so at least in part from the urge toward two-way communication, rather than aiming intentionally for the unidirectional prose that often results.

Conceivably this is why bloggers study their stats, attempting to detect by evanescent digital footprints what invisible participants may have visited their thoughtscape, and revel in the gracious gift of commentators.

Principally, writers write to be read. So the absence of any proof of an audience can be discouraging or at least give one pause: why are we failing to inspire readership? Yet we go on writing, compulsively, regardless. I think, therefore I write.

Occasionally our words seem indeed actively to provoke the opposite of their desired result: silence. Recently my posting of written thoughts in email to two different collections of reader/participants (my book club and a virtual mailing list discursive “community”) has prompted only crickets. After having written and submitted and waited for some form of engaged response, and waited and waited some more, I’ve had to consider the possibilities: that I’m simply bad at this written communication, or that I’ve managed inadvertently to offend others or have made them uncomfortable or possibly bored or irritated or… In lieu of any evidence or responsive indications in one direction or another, I have simply to wonder.

Sometimes this back and forth, or back and no forth, process stills or stuffs the compulsion to write, if only for a time. I’ll go inward, curl around the uncertainty, maybe find some entirely other medium to muck around with for a bit, photography or bookbinding or printing or collage– but eventually I will, without fail, find my way back once more to words.

And write for no one. Simply write. Because I can’t not do so for long. And so it goes its windy, rambling way who knows where– and as a three year old me once said– but who will get there first.


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