Sometimes I feel as if we are living in a "virtual world". Things don't seem real, and I wonder what would happen if there was a reset button. Part of this comes from having gotten a Wii for Christmas and discovering it really is addictive and part of it comes from the regular lives we lead -- duality.
We are who we are -- writers.
And yet, we are other things as well. It's like the whole hat wearing thing. Which hat are you wearing today? Are you mom, dad, brother, sister, doctor, cook? Or are you simply writing? I feel sometimes as if our lives take on a surreal feel to them. Nothing really matters in this life outside the relationships we form, the knowledge we gain and the growth in our hearts. But we are so caught up in all the other trivial things, sometimes we forget that it doesn't really matter.
When I was living on my own many years ago, I used to have a pet phrase. "Is this really going to matter in the eternities?" I generally used this in reference to some mishap that went on between my roommate and me, or something that really made me angry. I haven't used it as much since I became married and had children, and I'm not sure why. I think sometimes we lose sight of the important things when we are dogged down with the mundane. Somehow it doesn't seem as if eternity will be thrilling if all it's going to be is diapers and throw-up. But after you get past that, and the sun starts shining, you realize there is more to life than the every day. You just have to look for it.
As a writer, one tends to look at everything with a different slant. That makes us a little strange to some people, but that's what we are. We think of the hidden meaning behind an exchange between two people -- what would have made them talk to each other in such a way, what if something else had happened?
So, eventually, our world becomes involved in the unreal. The what if. And suddenly you find yourself wondering if your life is just another re-run of the Twilight Zone and you really are out on some alien world thinking you're living here....
The trick is using that to your benefit. Our imagination is what sets us apart and enables us to dream of alternate realities, making them our own. These realities can seem as real as what we are now, and it's easy to get caught up in them. I've even heard some writers complain that the voices won't shut up when their they're in church -- they still want to talk. Hmmmm....that's a little strange. (grin)
Whatever you write, wherever you are in life, there is always going to be that moment of disorientation. Because no matter how we view it, this life is just a test and we are being given time to rewrite our final essays as many times as we can until we get them right. We just don't want to put it off till it's too late to make that final draft -- we won't have a reset button then.