There was a time in my life when I employed the ideas of others to express my own. A time when I had no voice, and spoke in the voice provided, repeating, in the words provided, the ideas conceived by others.
I read poems for love, repeating phrases popularized by popular people, looking for the meaning of life or the moment in books and songs that came into my hands by chance.
And when it came to elevated and solemn things, I would always have at hand a slogan, an oath, an insult to the Enemy, to shout with fervor in the square crowded with others like myself.
The years have made me suspicious of this searching for life in books and songs. This search for the meaning of life in the by-products that fall off the production line of life. This always looking somewhere else for life, somewhere outside of life itself.
And although suspicious of them, my books no longer confused me. Life confused me, when I was faced with the unexpected, that I hadn’t lived, that I hadn’t read. Life confused me, to spare me the confusion if sometimes the scene repeated itself. To make me believe in my own strength. To force me to grow.
There was a time in my life when I would laugh at those who argued very seriously that they had to write a book because they couldn’t find one that satisfied them. Today I know that to grow we must speak in our own voice and write our own book. It’s necessary to risk. And to create.