morning jots: protecting YOUrself

Even the "you" in "yourself," in my title, is

about me protecting myself

from talking strictly about me. 


It’s like that prof who explained to me once, 

“When you use second person (the YOU), 

you’re putting the emphasis on the other. Not on yourself. It’s safer."


Because, if I were being totally honest

right now, 

I would be talking about me, and


me, and me again;

and then, in the end, I would hope that I had spoken

some larger truth to the world's YOUs,


everyone reading these words to themselves, 

taking them in like the author (me) and the reader (you) were the WE.


As if to say: What are WE discovering together? 


How about the fact that

fiction is

indistinctly about him or her who

writes the original words—fiction shows glimpses of the author. Fiction

isn't just “made up.” Fabricated, yes, but not fake, not false, not absolute



And nonfiction is just a bunch of truths

gathered together to make a story.

Nonfiction isn’t the total truth,

but an intentional weaving of a truth-rug 

(for all of the world to walk upon--or admire--as it wills). 


I've written plenty of rugs.

Felt trampled enough, felt acknowledged and nodded at, too.

And when I felt hurt? That was when

I didn't protect myself, didn't wait 'til I was ready to share, didn't

wait 'til I didn't care

what people thought about my thoughts, experiences, my words.


So, the most honest thing I could do for you now

would be to publish this post as it were, right off the first

blip of my fingers, no edits.


Should I?

Isn’t that dangerous?

It is. Because I should protect myself. Should protect my thoughts,

my hurts, my feelings. The world—all the you’s out there (reading this as 

“me”)—doesn’t care about the author (ME) as much as I do. 


I am my own wellspring,

a source of creative thought, of original, of inspired and perfectly me-defined thought. 


So don’t write for anyone else but yourself. At least at first,

Write what you

want to read, write

what you believe you must. And if, for an instant, you worry

about someone’s reaction,

hold onto what you’ve written until you can say to yourself that

what you have written

is giving the world something it's better off with

than without.