Sunday, September 12, 2010

"worms are the words but joy's the voice"


There was a time when I came over here and wrote every day, sometimes twice or three times in an afternoon. I was fourteen, fifteen, sixteen years old, and if you go back and read those archives (not that I'm advocating that), my posts were full of little daily moments -- as trite and exclamation point-laden and teenagery as they were, they were the stories of my life in my voice.

I faded from it towards the end of high school, and freshman year at Davidson. I think I was so bowled over by the move to college that I didn't even know where to start.

Starting somewhere around January 2008, I came back. Suddenly there was a team, there were shining shrieking days of tourney time miracles, Davidson went to the Elite Eight, and I was there for all of it. I was IN the story, I was part of it. This wasn't reading a book, this wasn't watching a TV. Real life created a plotline, gave me characters, spit out some of the most heartsoaring bloodpounding moments I've been privileged to experience, all within the span of a few months, and ten days in particular. I wrote here, I wrote elsewhere, I just could.not.stop. writing about it. To me (and to many), it represented something more than what it first appeared to be: a college basketball team playing well and beating the odds. It represented family, hope, laughter, hard work, honor, history, future, all wrapped up in a present moment, all pertaining to me and people and places I cared about. It hooked me.

March Madness 2008 brought me back to this outlet of expression that I'd latched onto so early. Even though I never stopped journaling with ink and paper, I began to tell stories here again. I told my story when I studied in England for three months. I told my story when I interned at a dear church in Richmond, VA last summer. For two more years, two more basketball seasons, I told my story as a student, a fan, and a writer. I told my story as I walked through this past fallwinterspring into the surreal haze of graduation day.

And I've started to tell this story, small ungraceful poem by small ungraceful poem, the story that I can't quite figure out yet. How this whole life-outside-the-bubble thing works. How you meet people, how you keep being passionate about what you're passionate about without necessarily having a supportive active focused community surrounding you at all hours. How you stop being resentful that said community shook your hand and sent you on your merry (confused, tearstained, diploma-toting) way. How you find where you are most happy and how you stay there. How you walk this road when you know that there aren't concrete answers for any of these and you know you'll learn but you can't see ten feet in front of you. How you keep the brothers and sisters and friends and loves close even when they're far. How you stop saying "I'm not really sure" when someone asks "so what do you want to do?" because actually, there are a LOT of things I want to do, and would be decent at, but I can't box them in, I can't exactly explain how they might be financially feasible, I know I need to prove more than I have before I can reach them. How to stay slightly sane through all of this, how to keep my voice strong.

So here's the deal: I'm going to make it over here more often. Because these stories are important. And maybe they'll start off being mine, but along the way I'd like to imagine that somehow they become yours, too.

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