I am a computer

01001001 00100000 01100001 01101101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010

A friend of mine, I’ll call her “Mary,” told me a few days weeks ago that she wished I would write more. That the comments I leave on our friends blogs are so good, that I should write. Hah. I said. And then, as I do, I thought – overly hard about this particular statement. For a long time. Why don’t I write? I know that commenting on a blog is not the same as writing one, but I read, I follow writers, I must love the act of writing, right? I feel like sometimes I have something to say, I have a blog (of course who doesn’t), that I never use, I have a journal, er or I had one at one point, but seem to have lost it. Prophetic I think.

It turns out, after endless minutes (ok days) of reflection, I realized that I don’t write because I am a computer. Let me explain, or sum up.

I generally have no problem commenting on the choice few (15 or so) blogs I choose to read on a regular basis. I feel that these are friends of mine, sharing pieces of their lives with me so I respond back in the only way I can – I acknowledge what they said and ramble on endlessly about some tangential thing. I usually sign with xo and or a silly smiley face 🙂 as my signature. Great. Then I move along. Seems normal huh? But wait, what if I were to sit down in front of a computer (daunting) or a great notebook (Docket pad with narrow rule) with a favorite pencil, Ticonderoga #2 (much more comfortable) and start to write something? Well I’ve tried it, but it usually looks like this:

picture of a page with doodles on it.

Then I need a nap. Good thing I do not make a living writing. Well actually I do, but not the creative type, the type a computer can do. Input in….process…output results. Yes, I am the author of 10 or so peer-reviewed publications that nobody, including, I think, some of the reviewers, have ever read. Yippee. Well I enjoy it, but it is not creative, not in a human kind of way anyway. So here it is, the part where I get serious-ish.

It turns out that I lack the ability to have and express a genuine emotion, without the aid of input. Hmm, that sounds kind of dirty, so let me explain further. I love my friends, I am a Taurus after all, if you believe in that sort of thing, you probably know three things – my birthday is somewhere between  21 April and 21 May, I am stubborn, and I am loyal. It’s the last trait I am referring to here. I love my friends, so when they post a touching or moving or brave (usually they are all three), post on their blog – I am so touched, I am provoked(?) – I must respond. So I write something. Input in…process…output results. Just like a zero one machine. When I think I am going to write something that is as moving or as meaningful or something that is fiction I (see picture above).

I need input in order to respond emotionally, hell I need input in order to feel emotions. If, as I do frequently, I am sitting on my couch with knitting needles in my hand, I am – content. But like Putty on an airplane (Seinfeld episode, Google it), I’m pretty much a blank slate. I sit, I knit. I “rest” my brain. No emotions come over me, unless of course I fuck up a piece. No new amazing thoughts race through my head, no new inventions  or stories or ideas are formed.

I can respond emotionally (and sincerely) to something someone says or writes, but I cannot wax poetic about how I feel about you, trees, jackasses or losers, unless I am given something to react to. “Mary” and other friends I know, can create an idea from a picture, another blog, from their lives or from nothing – poof an idea is born. I envy that ability to create an emotion and to be able to express it.

Is that weird? Um, no wait, I mean is that too weird? I don’t know. I pretty much just realized this the other day. I think it isn’t normal, I think I may know why I am like this, but that’s a whole other post, and one I’m not sure I’m not ready to write.

So I thank “Mary” and “T” and “Becky” all fictitious names I *swear* for their encouragement, but I am not a person who can write. Until you can imagine, or feel or provoke a creative feeling out of something – other than responding to or mimicking another’s emotions, I don’t think you can write anything of substance. I don’t think you can write. And just to make one thing clear – I don’t really want to be a writer, I don’t think. I would just like to be able to think, to feel and to express an emotion, as a writer does. This post, is it substantive? Maybe, for me, but it began as a process after input from “Mary” so it’s basically just a bunch of zeros and ones.

I am a computer in a barcode

*these may or may not be their real names*

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16 Responses to I am a computer

  1. Becky says:

    You’re amazing. I love that you are growing and sharing and in fact… that proves that you are not a computer. Computers only know what we tell them… you have your own thoughts and ideas.
    You have a light about you… thank you for letting me be in your light!
    xoxoxoxoxo

    • Becky says:

      ps — computers only teach us what we already know… you’ve taught me how to be a friend and how to be a writer and how to be real.

      • casoly says:

        🙂 xo B. Same here. You have helped me realize a lot about myself, through your blog and your friendship. I cannot thank you enough for that. ps – thanks for letting me into your light as well.

    • casoly says:

      Thank you B! I guess I should have added that I am reactionary in my thoughts and ideas, like a computer.

  2. A. Rascal says:

    Awesome! And I think we all need input, whether it comes from ourselves or others 🙂

  3. NJA says:

    The brain is the most amazing computer, LOL, coupled with the outstanding power of the heart, something tech lacks. We all respond and process. The computers are like you, not the other way round 🙂

  4. Sue says:

    Don’t you see? That’s all any of us do. We react to or respond to something through writing. I’m so glad “Mary” encouraged you and I’m doing the “I could have had a V-8” slap that I didn’t think of it first. Your comments on blogs and on twitter are always a gift. You have a way of looking at things that is thoughtful and genuine. Please keep writing!

  5. Jennifer B says:

    I so know how you feel! I have friends you tell me I’m a writer but I know inside I don’t think like a writer. Thank you for expressing my thoughts!

  6. j says:

    Let’s see. A post in February. One in March. One in September. Clearly, you think EXACTLY like a writer.

    For the record, this post is wonderful. I loved it. Sure wish you’d stop acting like a writer and write more. xo

  7. Dani H says:

    Your comment above “Well we’ll see, that might have been it. (hope not though)” says to me that you DO want to write in some capacity.

    And “I need input in order to respond emotionally, hell I need input in order to feel emotions.” I don’t think that’s as uncommon as you think. I relate to a LOT of what you say in your comments about having withdrawn because of pain you went through in your life. I actually have whole sections of my life that I have blocked out ~ NO memories whatsoever. I figure they weren’t happy times, so I just leave those places alone.

    I really hesitate to call myself a poet ~ most of my poetry just flows into and through my mind and all I do is hurry up to get to my laptop or a pencil and paper to record the words before they disappear forever. Not that they are amazing poems, but when I “try” to write, it’s almost always crap.

    I also relate to you about writing the comments. No matter how hard I try, my comments are almost always way too long. But the thought of trying to write prose ~ whether a blog, fiction, memoir, whatever ~ absolutely terrifies me and seems impossible for me. Your comments are always far more eloquent than mine and are fascinating in what you add to the subject at hand.

    All I can say, is that I hope you find something that does occasionally provide you with inspiration. A song, the lyrics, a photograph, a topic discussed briefly on twitter, a conversation overheard on an elevator, someone’s blog or poem, tell us about your day, or a joke you heard, or a TV show, or what you had for dinner, or even just tell us about your knitting. I LOVED the pillow you did for Becky!

    Okay, another too long comment. Excited to see you here! Hope you’re back soon. *Biggest Extra Squishiest Thrilled to See You Hugs* ❤

    • casoly says:

      Thank you Dani!! I believe the definition you gave – how the words flow through you – is something I have heard from some really talented writers. I think that writing and loving to write poetry makes you a poet, at least I consider you one. I appreciate you reading and commenting! *big squishy hugs* back!

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