The comfort of strangers…

So following on from last night’s post. I am feeling really odd about those I know reading my work. Any of my stuff, but especially this book in progress…

Why do we feel easier being completely honest and open with strangers rather than those closest to us? (see comments from last night’s post – it’s not just me!)

It’s like we must be acting a role with our closest people, which doesn’t seem right at all – they hold keys to our identity, our history, our limitations in their hands, they feel they know us because they have spent time with us, we owe them the honour of parenthood, sisterhood, friendship…and so we play the part… to keep their love and acceptance…even if their vision of us is not really who we are NOW…

Or perhaps it is because we know they can catch the bits of us which are not entirely authentic – the bits of us that we are still trying out, the bits where we have papered over the cracks…

Or that we do not really tell the truth to those we live with, we play nice, play politics – when the truth is actually far richer… and more potentially painful… it threatens to shatter our nice illusion of reality… but offers the potential to replace it with something more dynamic, more truthful in reality.

Our social constructs of relationships, of self, of how the world is threaten to crumble if too many of us chip away at the facade. We fear that we might find the foundations too shaky. We will find we live not in a palace but a house of cards.

We all do it I know – but us writer’s threaten to be the little boy shouting “the emperor has no clothes!”

And so the comfort of strangers allows us to develop a persona of who we want to be, rather than who we have been – an image of ourselves to grow into, rather than the empty chrysallis of who we were.

This is my butterfly self which I share with you, dear reader. My highest hopes, my secret thoughts, my caterpillar self, all wormy and small. It is this self that can fly free – you and I have no bonds of attachment to it. So I can be be free…free to be me. Because you don’t know who I should be, was or am.

PS I know I said I wasn’t going to write… couldn’t help myself – anyway it is book related and it’s helping my book process!


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