As an introvert, someone with a profound inner world, an only child who has had many adventures in an unseen world, I have imagined for some time that that is how life will always work for me: most of my world will stay inside, most of it will be imagined, live on the astral but never step on this side of the door. And there is beauty in that, in a secret realm and its being hidden away, only opened with the one existing key that I hold deep inside where no one can find it. And yes, I will always keep the key, and I will always visit there alone; I will never stop that journey.
But lately, admittedly for a while now, I have been feeling a keen urge, like my inner child pulling on my skirt, and finally, I’ve turned to look her in the eye. What is it you need, little one? She tells me that we need to overflow. It’s time, and we haven’t done it in years. She can tell I’m scared. Hell, I can tell I’m scared. But we agree: we need to crawl out and let the sun shine upon us; we need to communicate what we’ve seen on the other side, tell our stories. We need to open the door and let those inside come and go as they please, let them play with those from other worlds. We need to pour the secret realm into the world outside, let the body see it from its tangible perspective, let it lay out in the light for others to take a glance at it. We need to manifest.
I’ve been taking and taking, like picking berries for my pockets: stories, images, sounds; film, music, books; characters, expression, history; analysis, language, feelings … I’ve been a collector for a long time. Especially these last few years, I have almost solely collected. I had begun to think perhaps I have nothing to give. I had begun to imagine myself as a receptacle for all the things that inspire me, though inspire me to do what … I couldn’t quite wrap my head around that.
There’s this funny thought I have sometimes when I’m sitting at a dinner table or at a restaurant, and my companions and I are eating different meals. I think to myself that we are having distinctly different experiences at that moment, while sharing the experience of sitting and eating together. Taste creates an entire world while we dine, and so at once, we are in entirely different worlds. I suppose we always are anyway, being different people, within different bodies, with different minds and spirits, but something about eating alongside someone else makes me particularly think about this.
Well, it has now occurred to me that there are different experiences to be had in terms of these things that inspire me so, these things I collect, these things I read and I watch and I interpret. I much enjoy being the reader, the watcher, the interpreter – dare I say, the fan. Playing these roles, I can live behind my door, stay inside my secret world, put the shiny pieces that catch my eye in my pocket and bring them in with me to keep. It’s very safe. It’s comforting. It does, for a while, feel inspiring. There is potential in these keepings; what will I do with them? I don’t need to be sure just yet, but perhaps it will be something very good … one day. For now, I can look upon them and feel them in my hand and place them on their shelves and be content.
But my inner child wants a new experience. I am finding that I want another kind of experience. Being a writer: that is a different experience. If I am the writer, I cannot be my own reader. I cannot collect my work. I cannot put anything in my pockets; in fact, I am taking things off my secret shelves and building something with them, bringing it out into the light, and sharing it with the world. Being the writer is finding something to give. Being the writer is realizing I have plenty to give. And I know I do.
This month, I want to step out into the role of self-expression. I want to give glimpses into my inner world. I want to play show and tell. I want to be the storyteller. Sometimes, when we intuitively feel that something is the right move, we go toward it without hesitation, like love, like destiny, being called to vulnerability and going for somewhat unknown reasons. Maybe, just maybe, in some unseen world, I am being picked up and put into something’s pocket, being called to be collected, summoned to join the collective. I like the sound of that.