Shivers

Sometimes I get ideas for things that I should write. It might be an e-mail to a friend (or a “could be” friend). It could be an essay of epic proportions. Often it is a blog post. The idea comes into my brain, shoots down my spine and sends shivers through my right leg. I don’t know why it’s my right leg and not both of them at the same time. Maybe because I have a tendency to sit with my legs crossed, but at any rate, the shivers go and the goosebumps come. That is how I know the idea is good. Really good.

The problem is that I quite often don’t have the time or capacity to follow up on these ideas right away. Sometimes I am running around the lake trying to catch my breath and hoping that the next time I pull out my running shoes I’ll be in better shape. Sometimes I am driving in my car punching through radio stations, trying to avoid any and all songs that deal with falling in love, losing the one you love, waiting for love, or promising love forever. (It is amazing how precious few songs there are about anything other than the topic of love). Sometimes I am sitting on BART reading a book or pretending to read a book as I glance sideways at the book of the man sitting next to me, wondering if we are kindred spirits drawn together by a mutual need for public transportation and a mutual preference to plunge into words rather than make eye contact with strangers. The most I can usually do in these moments of epiphany is to punch a little memo into my phone and hope that the goosebumps will come back when I revisit the topic.

The shiver-enducing epiphanies may not be profound. Sometimes they aren’t even all that original. But they are true. And I feel that we are a society that is starved for truth. I think that’s where the shivers come from. The need to speak truth. The need to share honestly. To give words to the experience of absolute rejection, utter joy, fragmented dislocation and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit. So here is a promise that I will finish those blogs. That I will share my own stories and tell the truth in the best way I know how. And maybe in doing so I’ll help someone else to do the same.

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