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road Gary McParland

I’m a social person. I enjoy the company of others and feel invigorated by this kind of contact. This is when I feel most alive.

I strive to have meaningful conversations with others that allow an honest exchange of personal thoughts, experiences, stories, desires, fears, and emotions that matter.  But raw truth-telling is often a difficult endeavor.

There are those who do not wish to hear the pinging of our hearts. There are those who seek to silence any voice bold enough to challenge private lies.

This is where writing comes in. It’s a solitary thing. My challenge is to stay true and be clear.  I write because I feel compelled to share a story (my story), to connect with others in a way which allows some introspection and release.

Through writing, I am attempting to communicate something from my center, using imperfect tools (words fall short) and send it out into the silence of the ether.

My empty page offers silent reflection; a blank space onto which I etch my heart, right there in black and white; writing and rewriting, shaping this mass into something that resembles the non-verbal germ of pain, or spark of pleasure that resides inside.
I send it out so you can hear what I need to say, to feel what I feel, to taste the sweet, bitter, and sometimes metallic flavor of a moment, charged with emotion.

Writing is limited. Feedback, understanding, commiseration, and the ability to have readers relate is largely lacking (certainly in real-time). This process often leaves me overcome by a wave of “what is the point?”, along with “does anyone really want to read this?”.
It’s such a lonely feeling. In the end, I’m not sure it matters. I’m not sure what matters.

Some of what I write (or struggle to make public) is an attempt to feel more grounded; to shed light in those dark places where shame lives.

Writing is an outlet. It’s catharsis and creativity. Like barking in the darkness, writing allows me to hear my own voice,  to claim space, to find a way to feel valid.
Mostly, I write in order to hear my own true voice.

We all have a story to tell. Some of us have stories more difficult to share, either because we feel ashamed, or because we fear others would scoff.

Art, music, dance, the written word: we each work through our pain in our own ways: sometimes communal; sometimes relational; always driven by a need to process, observe, purge — to see and be seen. Once written, I hope to make you feel something too. My effort is certainly a means of connection. But in the end, I write because I must.

If this sounds familiar, I invite you to share this lonely road. To brave this path and find words adequate to the task.

Speak your truth so you can hear yourself. Be courageous.
Speak your truth so you might touch another’s heart. Be bold.
Know that your truth might inspire others to speak up. Be fearless and compassionate.
Speak your truth, even if it falls on deaf ears. I’m listening.