Writing Log #2: Writing and Reading Bodies

Bethany Herold

Professor Egger

ENGL 2060 E01

5 September 2015

Writing Log #2: Writing and Reading Bodies

My insignificant complaints seem pathetic in their meager attempts to provoke sympathy as I read about the hardships writer and educator Georgina Kleege (see here) goes through on a daily basis. Even she, in her already impaired state, felt that her adversities were nothing in light of Helen Keller’s daily trials. She was still depressed though. What benefit could she possibly offer society? The answer is her unequaled perspective. Every aspect of her being crafted a one of a kind approach that no one else can offer. Perhaps these hindrances and inhibitions are actually what make us, and our writing unique. They are also what bring us together; this sense of mutual imperfection spread throughout mankind. Why else would we seek hope and enlightenment?

So how much does my female-middle-class-mostly-cacuasion-baptist-small-town-petite self fit into the scheme of things? Now I don’t have any obvious physical disabilities or hindrances, but I have my own demons, my own impediments that make it hard to get up some mornings. On those days where the sky is gray, the ground is cold and damp, my to-do list is never ending, and I wonder why my workplace doesn’t allow more sick days, I realize I love the result of the trial by fire. It’s a unique purifying process, and I doubt the literary greats would have written in a way that touch people for years to come had they not had their share of hard times. I also have a history-some things I regret, others I revel in-and it has given me my unique perspective on this ride we all share call life. People out there have it worse, this I know to be true, but that doesn’t make me feel better, because someone always has it better too.

Why can’t I come from a privileged home? Have things handed to me on a silver spoon? As I juggle a 40+ hour work schedule, take 12-15 credit hours of college education, and as of recent, plan a wedding, it takes every ounce of control inside of me to not make a snide remark when a well-to-do-peer complains of her stressful course load this semester. Keep in mind said peer has parents pay for her rent and tuition, so while she lives lavishly she can rest just as well knowing she’ll graduate bright-eyed and debt free. *cue cynical eye roll* Perhaps, though, that’s how others view my so-called struggles. I don’t starve, sleep in the cold, or scour for clean water. The grass is always greener, or so it goes. And maybe I’m a bit bitter because I want that life cushy life. Does this longing make me as eloquently descriptive as Dickens? As romantic as Keats? As complex at Austen? As witty as Twain? Probably not of its own accord, but it helps define my writing journey.

My features, traits, background, and upbringing also greatly influence the books I pick up and the thoughts I pen (or type) down. I have always been inclined towards the classics, but why? Do I simply wish I lived in a different time? I do love the simplicity, the lack of technology, the lands that were still left to be explored. I adore the class, the old buildings, the focus on the arts and humanities, the battles, the honor, the Earth untarnished by man’s corporatism. Perhaps I romanticize it all. But perhaps not. I love writing, and find the process of transferring thoughts from head to paper almost seamless. Is that an inborn trait, or something learned from a strong literary background? Thanks again, Dad.

I don’t know to what extent each of my created and attained traits play into my writing. Or how much my hometown on the Oregon Coast makes the beach feel like serenity for me. Or why I thrive off solitary moments. But everything that has led to this point, and everything that has yet to come, falls perfectly into an orchestrated plan and purpose. I’m excited to see how my body inside and out, as well as my soul, shapes the essence of my life and who I was meant to be. I’m thankful for who I am, who I was created to be, and look forward to my development as a writer and a person.

References

Kleege, Georgina. “Blind Rage: An Open Letter to Helen Keller.” Sign Language Studies 7. 2 (2007): 186-194.

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