A written word for the mental thought

07 July 2011
The Egyptian/ Australian man, who sat next to me during my lunch break in Hyde Park, put it well: writers possess a unique understanding of the world around them. 

The comment came after he asked me about my trip in Australia and before his opinionated yet well- informed scrutiny of American economic and political policy. All during my hesitation as to whether this middle aged man, clad in a tweedy brown suit and matching fedora, was creepily making a move or simply just being friendly. (My guard sprung in full force when he asked me my travel plans; I casually mentioned Melbourne and he readily offered that he was considering getting a plane ticket there too.) I was raised in America and my parents were overprotective- a simple, valid reasoning behind my never resting sketch alert. 

But his comment struck me. 

Save my childhood fantasies of becoming an author (sidelined by my intention of becoming a famous stage actress), I never considered writing as my future path. It was in College Writing, a freshman year, entry level course, that my passion became apparent. The challenge to place written words behind a mental voice entranced me. Relieved, I moved past my quarter life crisis and had finally discovered a plan for my future.

I am an observer, a characteristic I get from my mother. As a child, I accompanied my mother on picnic lunches on mall benches. We’d sit for hours, commenting on the oddities as we watched the flow of human traffic pass by. I do the same nowadays, although usually on my own and without too harsh a thought on the peculiarities in front of me. I just simply enjoy observing.

I love photography and I’m aware of how it influences the manner in which I focus on the canvas of life. But I don’t believe in confined borders, which is where photography, for me, poses a limit. 

The Egyptian/ Australian (how fantastic of a mix!) man’s comment undid the latch on the thoughts couped up within the jumbled drawers of my mind. It’s my stream of observations constantly seeping through the waves of the brain that are in search of a place to go. I’ve realized pen to paper, keyboard to screen, is the solution to applying my analysis of the trickier thoughts of my day to day life, my existence on the planet and the bigger picture of the world.  

I was reading through a friend’s blog last night. She had some fascinating thoughts regarding her abroad experiences, a combination of an account of her journeys and a reflection of her experiences. She too uses her writing to give voice to the complicated feelings. It dawned on me that every one of us possesses the power to write, to document the inner workings of our racing minds. We are all observers of the world around us. We all question the greater meaning of the life we live. 

Maybe he was creepy. Maybe he just wanted to voice his thoughts. Regardless, my Egyptian/ Australian man articulated words well beyond my years. Quite an interesting twist to my Hyde Park lunch experience.

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