My head began to swim and all the light around me transformed, becoming a little too bright the other day as a new acquaintance and I stood and chatted. Why did this person want to know so much about the details of my life? Then she poked really hard at my vulnerable soul by stepping into the territory of my writing.
“How do you find time to write?” she ripped into my soul’s most precious deep place.
I'm asked this often, and I struggle with the answer. I must offer up my soul as a sacrificial lamb of sorts to explain myself properly.
You might as well ask me how I can care for my children or long for the feel of my husband’s arms encircling my body. Deep in mysterious places of my soul there are words that grow and multiply, rising in number, higher in my chest until they force out my breath, anchor my hope, and name my fears.
If I don’t release the words out into the world I am afraid they will suffocate me.
All day I manage the needs of others. Children need me to feed them meals, find lost items, and google “space exploration happening right now”. Friends ask to meet for coffee, email me for recipes, and stop by to drop off necessary items for who-knows-what. My husband and I go out on dates, plan trips, and organize baseball and ballet schedules.
But the words get sharper when I push them down. Stifling them so that I can attend to my responsibilities creates a jagged blaze in my soul. The words slice through my good intentions to do other things like a scalding knife through icy butter. I snatch up the computer while the chicken bakes, as kids play whiffle ball in the backyard, or after everyone has gone to bed and the walls of the house whisper that it’s safe at last to write.
Once the words are on the page I am a woman set free. But freedom can be relative and mine only lasts for a breath or two.
The newly written words are weaponized out in the wide world of opinions.They haunt me with their weakness. They are like children I have not properly tended. My inadequate parenting of them may result in a meaningless destiny should they lack viability in the critical world.
My words taunt me like bullies on the playground. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will rip you to pieces. They shout from the computer screen, they scream on the page, they chant as I drift off to sleep at night.
“Who will want to read us? What real purpose can we serve in this world? We won’t make cure what ails you or the world. We may distract for an instant, but then life will move on. You have born us for futility.”
These cruel friends of mine nag and harass until I press the truth into this darkness my own mind has created:
Life can’t move past words. Words birth life. It is not I who have make them, but they who make me. They are the fiber of love, the intangible light of life, and destiny’s breath over creation.
The rise begins again and there is always more to write. Always.