• Alyse


I love this word: Intrinsic

I don't actually fully understand it. I thought I did when I started thinking about what to write tonight, but upon opening my Chromebook and typing the word into the Google search engine to come up with a definition of the word I'm finding that I understand it far less then I did, naively, ten minutes ago.

Sometimes my mind can't process words. This is literal. Sometimes I spend so much time thinking and obsessing over just one single word that it looses any value that it might have had in, maybe, a more intellectual brain.

Intrinsic... intrinsic... intrinsic...

Say it a few times over and over and it just becomes gibberish.

The problem with this word, at least for me in this moment, is that it has so much philosophy behind it, and philosophy in it's nature is ... well, I hate to say bullshit, but it is a personal perception and personal perceptions are, well...

So, now I am thinking about philosophy, and I am no philosopher (and yet we are all philosophers in our own right, or rather, intrinsically.)

My writing and rambles will always be tied to my mother. She did this to me.

Me: "Mom, what does this word mean?"

Mom: "Go find it in the dictionary." said in monotone, with the occasional giggle at the end as if it were some inside joke that only she found funny.


I did not want to trudge all the way into the scary basement of Grandma's house to the shelf she kept at the very bottom of the stairs with her collection of dictionaries that were kept in near pristine condition, if not also a little smoke damaged from daily cigarette habits held in the same room. Maybe they weren't pristine then, because how can anything remain pristine in that environment? At least it was dark and no sunlight was damaging their beautiful golden covers, but they were more beige by the time I got my little hands on them then they were the vibrant gold they had once been. That was our life. Our life was dingy. Dingy is another good word. Gloomy so says my companionable online dictionary, not dirty, but not... well, like the dictionaries, not vibrant.

I had other plans for this post other then to talk about words and their intrinsic meaning. Haha... it almost feels like a pun at this point.

I was thinking about this word in relation to my book and the impact it will have on the lives of, hopefully, people all across the nation if not the globe. I have big dreams.

I can write my story. I can know my story. I can feel what I feel for having experienced the words I've written on the pages of my book. What I can not do is tell others how to feel about what they read. The book has a value outside of my personal experience, and it's not something I can even begin to fathom or predict. Thanks to something a friend said a while ago about the book going on it's own journey, I've been really contemplating this.

I wish I could predict it. If I could predict how others will feel after reading my story I could better structure the story to give them what they need... but that's just it, I don't know what my readers need.

Here's the scary part, they get to decide what they feel about what they read.

My book has an intrinsic value, but I don't know what that even looks like, and really I may never know. I can't decide what that value is and not being able to control that variable is terrifying.

Yet... I'm OK.

Talking to Shawn last night about my book and what it means for me, and how all consuming it is in my brain, so consuming that at times I literally can't remember to think about anything else, but he helped me discover that I've been able to separate myself from my own story. My gut reaction was to tell him how hard it was on me, and yes at one time for several years it was very hard on me, but it just isn't anymore, and the minute I said it I realized that that was a lie. Yes it is all consuming, but no it doesn't tear me apart anymore to think about it, to talk about it, to know that it was my story, but now that's all it really is is a story. The story isn't me, I am not the story.

Should I even mention accuracy when it comes to personal memories? Not that I'm saying what I'm writing are lies, because they certainly are not, but what I went through I perceived with my own two eyes. Not my mothers, not my brothers, not my grandmothers, not my cousins... and so on...

This is my story and how I remember it, not theirs... but once it's in your hands

it's your story.

I think this is a good thing for me to come to terms with before I get my book back from my editor. I need some separation between the words on the page and my heart.

I'm not sure how to close out this post, and I doubt many of you will find it interesting, but it is what it is, not what I intended, but that's actually exactly why I write. You already know that.

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