Dag Hammarskjold, a twentieth-century diplomat, advisor, and leader is a companion of mine (through the text). I read selections from his Markings from time to time. They are poems, reflections, meditations, and musings. Last night I read a few. Here’s one from 1952 that seems compelling to me today:
How ridiculous, this need of yours to communicate! Why should it mean so much to you that at least one person has seen the inside of your life? Why should you write down all this, for yourself, to be sure–perhaps, though, for others as well?
I’m in the middle of revising another draft of my manuscript. I’m walking through some thoughtful edits from Maya Rock, and the walk is both enlivening and humbling.
I’ve been sick for more than two weeks thanks to my generous son. I’m still a little congested, in the head especially, and I mean that, at least, in two ways. But Hammarskjold’s words come alongside me as I’m reading my edits, adding and cutting and thinking and shaking my head at some of the assumptions I make in my story.
I’m considering my draft in light of his reflection. How he says writing, or communicating, allows a person to see the inside of your life. How communication is for others. It really takes me out of my head, where all the assumptions are, where all the answers are, and delivers them onto the page, into the conversation, in the space where communication happens between two people.