A Reckoning with Myself
Lately I have been experiencing a kind of reckoning with myself.
It concerns a way of being that I have been embodying, on and off, for many years.
It concerns, also, a way of writing that I have been engaging until only very recently.
When I speak of it to myself, I call it, "the salesman."
There is nothing wrong with the salesman. He's a friendly one, fun-loving, basically decent.
It's just that he stretches the truth, or presents half truths, in order to win imagined gains.
Let me give you an example.
At that point, Devon and I were neck deep in the writing. The process was emotional, rumbling with ambivalence, dedication, purpose, disgust, doubt, and ambition.
But I didn't write about those things.
I wrote what strikes me now as a sales pitch.
I presented the process as a page turner, a five-part series in obstacles overcome and objectives achieved.
And there was some truth to this take on things.
It's just that it wasn't my truth. Not really. It wasn't, as Carl Rogers would say, congruent: it didn't let anyone into my world.
What made it's way onto the page was, if I'm honest, primarily an exercise in buzz creation.
I don't want to write like that anymore.
I don't want to create buzz.
I'm not interested in exciting people, primarily because I'm not interested in being excited.
Does this make sense to anyone but me?
What I want, what I truly want, is to live a life of raw intimacy. That intimacy starts with myself, with being real with myself, it extends to my inner circle (Devon, my closest friends), and then it spans outward, I hope, to include everyone, everything.
I admit, there is some part of me that fears this transition.
I'd like the book to sell. I'd like you to buy it. I believe in the book we wrote.
And the world is loud.
How will anyone ever know this book exists if I stay true to this quiet feeling?
It seems like people only pay attention to what grabs their attention.
And I don't want to grab for anything anymore.
So maybe the book won't sell. That could happen.
Still, the more I live my way into this, the more alive I feel. And I wouldn't want to sacrifice that aliveness for anything.
Sending many good wishes your way,
P.S. I wrote this entry on August 20th. By the time it autoposts on October 1st I will be in a 3-month meditation retreat. Please know that, despite my absence, I am sending you all many good wishes.