I Write to Stay Here

by Natalie Robin

I called a poem “gushy” today and my friend responded that it’s no different than my writing. I have to admit I was a bit mortified, but while I have never thought of my writing as that, I guess it could be. I’m often emotional, often intro+retrospective, often whimsical, often indulgent.

The construct of my language in itself, however, is not my aim as much as it is a tool to flesh out ideas in a way that brings a fuzzy world into focus, if only for myself. I am the type to be easily overwhelmed by the how’s and the why’s of the monstrous size of the world, never mind the universe — as that just leads to paralysis. Writing is my way to pacify the fear in these realizations and their subsequent questions; and not always in addressing them directly. Obviously I don’t talk or write about why the universe is so grotesquely huge (sometimes I do actually), but I am always addressing it in a subconscious way by musing about things that are relevant to my one, tiny life. Staying present and thinking small is my response to the unavoidable reflection on vastness and its mystery. Ignorance can be bliss when answers are unknowable and I am always more than happy to stave off a heart palpitation or two. While I don’t want to completely ignore big-picture thoughts and ideas, I believe in our little dramas and occasional bouts of pettiness to be coping mechanisms for the fact that none of us really know what’s going on “out there” and it’s easier to just stay here.

I know some people enjoy my blog. Others might laugh at how “gushy” I am or just laugh at me in general. I’m just trying to survive, as I think most of us are. I could be wrong.