Why Did I Used To Write?

I wrote down and made public every fleeting fanciful thought which I believed to be insightful, self aware or important.

I once believed I had something to say.

As a reader I opened myself to the thinking and impulses of others through their writing. The sense of communion was intoxicating. Like children stumbling through the wardrobe into Narnia, I found my feet on strange ground meeting people I’d never dreamed. I loved it. The sensation of allowing an idea to shape one’s outlook is truly exhilarating.

It is also brief. The sense of transcendence–that one is encountering and participating with a world beyond the mundane–is easily maintained in an academic environment, yet exposure to harsher realities causes these novel, pure-hearted ideals to whither. Waxy feathers under relentless heat.

As the deep blue rushes to embrace my frail bones, I wonder what I thought I was striving for after all. Was not the point to carry me safely over?

I once believed I had something to say.
I now disbelieve I ever had anything to say.

Is this a unique experience?

Remembrance day approaches. It is a British holiday which is devoted to the lives of women and men who have been injured or killed in the service of this country’s military. I find such expressions of nation-cult to be incongruent with my expression of Christian faith. I am called to be a peacemaker who remembers particularly the weakest people in the world. As such I wear a white peace poppy which contributes to a fund to end wars and help noncombatants.

A colleague at work gave an exasperated expression and, with a pained voice, asked me why I was still wearing “that gay poppy”. I forgave his pejorative use of the word but I could not forgive his withering dismissal of a contrarian thought.

Now, England is a great nation. It has a long history of impact and significance in the world–arguably surer grounds than America for a claim to be the ‘greatest country on earth’–which can be spun as a consistent narrative. This story is marked and re-told by traditions and rituals like royal weddings, state events and remembrance day. Any challenge to these rituals and traditions is thus a challenge to the sweeping narrative which underpins British culture and lifestyle.

We deserve to be successful because we beat the evil Nazis. 

The assumptions this idea relies upon to gain legitimacy are so vast and vastly illegitimate that it is almost unnecessary to challenge them. Or is my inability to meaningfully respond to the “gay poppy” merely my surrender to the baseless assumptions which I am too cowardly to challenge?

The fear of rejection for holding contrarian opinions suffocates me. I do not want to be misunderstood, so I do not speak at all.

I once believed I had something to say.
I now do not want to say anything at all.

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