The only way you can write the truth

MAN this spoke to me this morning.
"The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it."
~Margaret Atwood


Anita said...

Oh, that "is" deep! I am reminded of some journals that I have; that I hardly ever go back to read.

I must admit though, that I don't understand the last line about the left hand erasing it.

If you have time, tell me.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

I think, Anita, that when you write as though what you're writing will only be said once and then forever removed (with, you know, no proof), you write with bigger abandon. You tell how you feel in a deeper, more emotional way. You're willing to expose yourself, your thoughts, your ideas, your explanations, your descriptions. No one is going to come along and critique it if you're going to destroy it immediately following that outpour of your heart. That's what I believe it means. Letting it all go, putting it all out there, in that dire need to explain yourself in a way that tells it all in the best way it can; in a way that is so in tune because of your sincerity in needing to get the story out there. When something happens to us, we don't sit down and tell those we love "so this happened and I felt this way-- no wait wait, that's not the right emotion, the right words--" or "it was like--but wait, don't tell anyone that, that's not exactly the correct description..." You just say it. All of it, from head to toes, from that particular experience, not worrying about what might come out of it later. :)

Anita said...

I am SO enjoying this writing thing! :) Thank you.