A close friend of mine told me the other day that another close friend of ours had said that reading my blog “depressed” her, and that she often had to read other lighter blogs to recover from her encounter with mine.
I’m not offended by my friend’s reaction—and it’s not the first time that I’ve had people allude to my predilection for supposedly subdued prose—but it does puzzle me. I don’t find my writing somber. It’s admittedly not light, and even when it’s lighter than usual the levity is weighed down by irony. Yet I would assert that it’s far from being bleak.
If my topics don’t make for chick lit, it’s because I’m not a chick and I don’t write literature. Sometimes I write just to hear my own voice. Sometimes I write out of a sheer love for sound (the sounds words make in my head). Sometimes I write because an event in the world evokes a response that demands expression. Sometimes I write so that someday I can look back and remember. But most times I write because I’m trying to make sense of things—trying to find meaning and solace in the face of so much random absurdity. (Why is there so much suffering? Why do good intentions often have such disastrous consequences? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why did I have to have size 8.5 feet?)
And more often than not, some kind of sense does emerge (is squeezed out/throttled out/wrung/wrested) from the process of writing. And this is why I insist that my writing isn’t depressing or melancholy—is even downright maudlin at times. If I wallow frequently in dark clouds, it’s to search for a silver lining—or to fabricate the glimmer of one if none exist. To posit hope, meaning and sense when life can often counsel the contrary is the form faith takes in these contemporary times.
In short, polysyllabic words and frequent references to philosophy and religion aside, I am (despite appearances) one happy, sappy, camper.