Wouldn’t it be lovely if all my posts were, ‘…sugar and spice and all things nice…’? If I wafted through the Blogosphere in a mist of nectar and rose-petals, strewing my every piece of writing with delightful images, positive thoughts, poetry and picturesque prose. If every darkness of life were kept firmly outside the Orange-haired Alienora’s fence and only light and frothy moments allowed inside.
Would I not get far more hits and likes and followers if I pushed such things as pain, fear, abuse and anguish firmly back down again, and only mentioned them in my private journal? Would it not be wiser to sanitise my own life on here so that I do not run the risk of offending, or boring, or annoying my readers?
Am I not just a self-indulgent, self-centred drama queen who does not know how tedious she is? Who is insensitive, nihilistic, obsessive and in need of therapy…
Does the blogging world actually need honesty and harrowing posts and angst? Is there not enough of that in ‘real’ life? Do we not click on here to be entertained, to laugh, to have the heavy moments in our own lives lightened by the hilarious mistakes in the lives of others? Are we not, deep down, looking for writers who are a good laugh, or morally uplifting, or interestingly philosophical?
Do we not seek escape through those we follow?
But, you see, I never promised you a rose garden – either as a human being or as a writer. I can only promise to be true to myself, to be honest. I cannot tell you that my posts will always make you laugh, or that they will be spiritual and poetic, or bawdy and base. They, like me, can only ever be what they are at a particular time. I cannot pretend otherwise.
In many ways, I wish I could: Pretend, that is; promise a never-ending vista of that rose-sweet garden; provide a daily, or twice-daily, paradise of beautiful, but non-contentious, words and images; write posts so scented with honey and spice that you could almost bathe in them – without ever needing to snag your thumbs on thorns or rip clothes on barbed-wire.
But part of my path in life involves facing up to things. It involves the thorns lurking in the rose bushes, the smelly stagnant pools behind every woodland paradise, the monsters under the bed – and, most important of all, the layers of darkness, deceit and duplicity facing me in the mirror of the soul.
I am constitutionally unable to lie to myself – and, when I lie to others, it is easy to spot. I do not have the social skills to pretend all is brilliant when it is not. This is, I am sure, a failing in my character. But it is there nonetheless. My Bullshit Detector works frighteningly well, especially on me.
The sad, but inevitable, part of all this is the fact that some people feel threatened by my non-rose-garden non-promise. The dark places I write about come too close to things they would rather not look at. The stagnant pools in my life remind them of those they walk miles to avoid in their own existences.
I can only ever be me – to the best of my ability! Sometimes, that me is happy and dancing and funny and joyous and wise-cracking. Sometimes, that me is hearkening to other voices and letting channelled pieces pour forth. Sometimes, that me is deep in necessary release of woes held down for too long.
Should I be this open and honest? Am I not just tearing open wounds which were semi-healed? Isn’t it just selfish?
Who is to say? Who ever can? We are unfinished beings, following a curving path which has no obvious end. We seek to turn others to stone by our judgements – but no ruling by one human to another is an Absolute. How can it be? We are mortal and flawed and the most brilliant thought is still nothing but a human construct and has no more inherent validity than any other!
If facing demons is wrong, then – mea culpa – I am disgraced, head hanging low, a blush of shame spreading across my face. If there is a Statute of Limitations on trauma, and I have overshot it by years, then I am clearly in the wrong. If every problem in life can be sorted instantly with a click of the fingers and an uplifting aphorism, then I am a human dinosaur who should, by rights, be extinct!
I never promised you a rose garden. I could only ever promise you an Ali garden!
And that is what I open the gates to every day, twice a day, sometimes three times a day. Imperfect, oddly shaped, full of brightness and dark places; a place of inspiration and stubbornness and pride and generosity and greed and jealousy and anxiety and love and laughter and tears and manipulation and clumsiness and music and light.
It is not always an easy guided tour, that walk round my garden. But it is authentic!