Still(a)Life#31: On Writing and Listening

It has been interesting to write for 30 continuous days. I find myself writing on most days but this writing is usually a bit more focused on things outside of me. Mostly a reflection on a client’s circumstance. Sometimes a love letter. Now and again an erotic thought. I have tried not to write these lockdown diaries out of obligation. Doing anything out of sheer obligation is seldom a good idea. It has been freeing to write more openly. Even though it goes against the grain of a psychologist’s training. But, client and therapist are, after all, just two people in conversation. It’s been an ongoing project to try and find my own authenticity in that somewhat necessarily contrived relationship. The less contrived the better, I think. On the topics of authenticity and writing, I am reminded of the words of Charles Bukowski: “If it doesn’t come bursting out of you, in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it.”

Some people, whose journeys are well known to me, have sent me endearing messages about what the writing has stirred in them and the choices they are finding the courage to make as a result. But, to continue writing tonight would be out of sheer obligation. There is nothing bursting out of me right now. I want to rather listen out for what the distant crash of waves has to tell me; the warmth of my lover can provide for me, as the hypnotics of sleep hopefully come and find me.


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