Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,And of ourselves and of our origins,In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.~Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West”
A sunrise walk with the dog, the sky glyphed by jets, sleek silver giants scrawling white almost-letters against the blue. I look up, my eyes instinctively seeking meaning in these marks. If I took pictures, charted these apparitions daily, what profane or sacred text might I piece together? What words would appear as if by magic? What would they spell out, what secret message for the reading species?
They are meaningless, these trails–at least, they do not trace words in any written or spoken language. But they carry meaning–the language of navigation, flight paths, origins and destinations. They tell stories of motion, direction, cardinal points and all others in between.
We seek meaning, we two-leggers, as we walk the earth and dream of flying. In an age before jets, I would have been an ornithomancer. I want things to mean things, to matter.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this in terms of my online presence. I’ve felt unfocused, disconnected, thinned and scattered by the electronic winds. I’ve wondered what I’m doing here, what I hope to accomplish–on my blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, in all the ways I reach out into the wide open spaces seeking connection. I’m spurred on by an urgent sense of needing to make my social media presence more intentional, more focused, more meaningful. After a lot of thought, I’ve clarified what I really want to do here: connect, encourage, and seek.
Connect (this is my raison d’etre)~because we live in a disconnected age, despite the technologies that make our world smaller. We’re more polarized than ever, it seems, more isolated, more lonely. I want to forge connections with others, to build community.
Encourage (this is my passion)~because we each have a story to tell, a truth to speak. Aside from the magic of shaping my own stories, my most magical moments as a writer over the past few years have been the times when someone has told me that because I wrote X, they then felt compelled/motivated/encouraged to write Y. This is the best part of writing–the conversation, the exchange, the give and take, the possibility that words thrown like seed into the world will take root and blossom into strange and wondrous fruit far from the parent plant. I want to encourage writers and creatives of all stripes to make their own unique magic, and uplift them in their work.
Seek (this is my ethic)~because our truths matter, and the world needs them. Stories are lies through which we seek the truth. They are perilous places. They are journeys. As a writer, I want to seek, and speak, truth. Because truth matters.
In light of this, I have two favors to ask of you.
First~I would like to forge more meaningful connections between all of us. If you have a website/Facebook page/etc., would you post a link in the comments so others can connect with the good work you’re doing?
Second~If there is a way I can support or encourage you in your creative work, would you drop me a line and let me know?
Thanks, friends, for adding meaning to my world. If you’d like to connect further, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads (as just Brenna).
15 thoughts on “Making Meaning”
I love this post! I will think of it now whenever I see vapor trails. Thanks for the invitation, Brenna. Here is a link to my blog, and specifically to the opening of my novel-in-progress, High Tide. There are also a few poems on there. I am new to blogging. Any comments are welcome. https://wordpress.com/post/actualities.live/69
Andrea, I tried the link but didn’t have any luck. What’s the name of your blog?
Connecting, encouraging, and seeking are really worthwhile pursuits, now more than ever. I’m over at http://www.weeklyfindings.com, if you or anyone else might enjoy reading the thoughts of a modern day vagabond, curiosity enthusiast, and life coach. 😉
Hi, Helen! I would adore to read those thoughts. Looking forward to checking out your blog and traveling vicariously through your adventures.
I love the idea of digital collections! How very cool, and travel-appropriate. The feather collection in particular captures my imagination.
Weekly Findings is full of wonderful things!
Thanks, Andrea! I look forward to checking out your blog and reading the opening of your novel!
Xoxo. I like knowing there are parallel questions. Your answers are inspiring m’dear! (And, you actually got me to go on Facebook today!)
Your recent TinyLetter was so timely for me. Thanks for helping me think through the knotty questions. ❤
I love it that you are a sky-gazer, Brenna!
Right now I have two blog sites, though one of this year’s goals is to be able to combine/coalesce them under a single me-website (and I think there is actually some headway in that direction). Thanks for the invitation!
Thanks for the links, Peggy! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with these as you roll them together. Sounds like a recipe for some good creative combination.
I am delighted in the evening to read poems, essays, see artwork and photos of others. I can feel how others find their way in life. In my blog at flanneland.com, I share thoughts, photos and art. I’m finding my way, by revealing myself bit by bit. I would also love to have others do more than randomly like my work.
Ah, yes, the random liking…likes are lovely, but it’s truly wonderful when people really engage and connect. I think that’s what we’re all hoping for. Looking forward to exploring your blog!
Thank you for writing this. Your clarity is inspiring, plus it so accurately describes how so many of us are feeling right now. As for me, I long for more face-to-face, less screen, more do, less watch, more create, less mull. Of course you already know these (and both are in desperate need of serious reimagining) but here is where people can find me:
I am also on Instagram as gardenlore, I don’t post much but I find the peace of wordless images, immensely calming these days.
Thanks, Lauren! I’m with you–I want the face-to-face, the creating. I hope everyone here will check out Apocalypse Garden–it’s medicine that we all need. ❤
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