Waking Ideas Publishing - Health & Life Stories
Written By Danny Nicolas
Anthony Fredianelli once wrote as lyrics for his song Invisible,
When everyone's got a story to tell
And everyone's got some pain
So do you
Everyone Dies is one of the few constants in life. There are many ways people die, and most are completely out of their own control. I believe Mr. Fredianelli was on the right track when he said that everyone has a story to tell. One of our greatest super-powers as humans is our ability to consciously influence the world in which we live. It is important to write about how you feel because our writing can continue to influence those reading long after we're gone.
Marina Keegan recently died in a car accident. I didn't know her personally, but her writing has influenced me for the better.
She wrote this article for the Yale Daily News, where she was attending school and due to graduate. Below is an excerpt:
We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.
It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.
Earlier last week Keegan also wrote about the importance of making friends rather than focusing on membership (or lack thereof) in (as Yale calls them) secret societies.
The real secret about secret societies is that they’re not a big deal. They’re a fun way to get to know people. To get free food. To socialize. To think. But they’re not the only — or even best — place to do that. I’ve had plenty of deep conversations, debates and drinks with (new!) friends this year, and I didn’t have a tomb inside which I could do so.
Every year, there are inevitably people who don’t end up in a society. And my only message to you is this: I’ve had a fantastic senior year without one. I did things I was proud of, made new relationships I will always treasure and had a little bit of extra time to do so. I’m not in a society, and I don’t think I’m a lame person — all of you juniors who don’t get tapped, please, please, please join the club.
But it's not merely important to write how you are feeling just because such writings can influence others. By writing about how you're feeling, you can become better at expressing emotion in words. Often times we have trouble putting into words the exact express feeling we've discovered. Writing helps resolve this issue.
However, sometimes our first language doesn't have the depth to convey the meaning we intend. Keegan should have looked to Greek (and other languages) in which the word Love in English (the word closest to what she searched for) becomes multiple words each with different meanings. Writing about how we feel allows us the opportunity to learn and expand our vocabulary. Our minds expanded, we can more accurately express how we feel. Since each word we write holds meaning, when we write we are able to discover a closer way to express what we're feeling. When we properly identify what we're feeling, we learn about ourselves. The difference between anger and wrath might merely reflect the gravity of a situation gone wrong, but perhaps on further analysis the difference might reveal a greater reflection of the passion of and character of those expressing themselves.
I might not be anywhere closer to expressing the emotions I felt as I speed read Marina Keegan's closing article, thinking to myself 'This is very well written, I hope she continues writing' - only to do a double take as I re-read the editor's note at the top of the article stating she had died less than 24 hours prior. But perhaps you'll write more too. And if you're not into writing, a picture or a painting might do the trick too.
Published on Monday, May 28th, 2012 at 4:00 am | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.