Emotions are effervescent and feelings eternal; or something else pseudo-profound. I write because others capture emotion and thought and purpose in a way that I dearly wish to. Like every generation we struggle with things that seem uncertain and enormous and scary and exciting. I want to capture that feeling. To let my children know the impact of the moments. To tell my children that I’m just as uncertain in my thirties as I was at thirteen.
Uncertainty. It pretty much defines my life as a father and as a professional. I’ve finished university, gained the house, collected children, made it through the early married years, and the future seems just as vague as always. Like I’m still trying to answer the child’s question of what to do when they grow up.
Affection. This at least has changed a bit I believe. I doubt I ever felt the depth of this emotion as a child in the way that it sweeps me under now as a father and husband. There is a reason people rhapsodize over a parent holding their child for the first time or that moment when you see your other half walk down the aisle. It makes you weak and trembling; strong and proud.
Joy. There is a great deal of joy in affection above but the joy I’m referencing is that instant glorious feeling of triumph. A programmer’s shout when the code works. An engineer’s triumph at a successful flight. The gleeful exaltation of a winning team and its fans. Life is lived without this furious adrenaline but only poorly. Victories are needed.
Struggle. To me this is an emotion. When you are mentally in the mud, bleeding out all your will to continue and unable to even look up much less to get up; when you are there in that place and you have not surrendered. That defiance of failure. A blurry eyed, snotty nose, growling refusal to quit. The puking, miserable, shaky, guts it takes to keep pluggin on.
Sadness. Seeing the pain of a human and weeping endlessly with them. The face of a dog as it noses its way under your crossed arms and whimpers at your tears. The screams that lack understanding at a sky that holds no answers. The earth shattering phrase about dying children. “Why?” and other questions with no answers.
Peace. That moment in the back yard where you sat and felt it roll over you. Acceptance and safety. The shade under a furious sun. The cave in the windstorm. The quiet moment when everything just fit. When the water was calm and the birds were happy and you could hear the melody of the breeze.
These are the things I want to imbue in my writing. The aspects of perfection. Words are meant to tell stories and stories are just vehicles for emotion and meaning. If I can successfully make you feel a targeted emotion by the design of my writing then I think I have succeeded.