“why i write”
- .because even when i’m not writing, placing one word after another, i will realize i am still following the trail. i’m in the woods, always, and the bread crumbs lead me out into things and back home. even when not writing, i’m still looking up and around, connecting stars and dots and pieces of things, wondering what shapes they might make. when i am writing, i am just doing what i’m in some ways always doing, and it just happens to involve words.
- life doesn’t make sense. writing helps. not because it gives explanation, but because “making sense” no longer matters. and then i wonder why i ever judged the value of a thing based upon it’s ability to be tied down and constrained.
- “I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." - Audre Lorde, “The Cancer Journals”
so yes then. i write because of my need for language. because i refuse to stay silent.
- there was this trip, this time, when i was driving. it was in the in-between, not light and not dark. and i may have been behind the wheel, but the truck was driving me, and we were headed west. the road, it stretched out and on forever, until i couldn’t see anything else except where it met the sky in a line that moved out in both directions. it was warm, almost hot, and the window was open, and when the radio played that one song, there was no turning back.
- it is where my knowing takes root, even as i question everything.
- it gave me metaphor, the great “as if.” for a long time, things felt so horrible, tremors of trauma that shook out and touched everything, and the only way i knew to give this voice was through the protest of my body and bent mind. once i could say, “it is as if. . .”, then i didn't have to act in out in real life. this changed everything, and i was no longer crazy.
- because it did happen.
- “if you don’t like my writing, you should stop reading it,” i said.
instead, they chose to read it and ask these questions, that were really accusations.
soon after, everything ended.
he called it a misunderstanding, a confusion.
i called in necessary.
naming is a powerful thing.
- because the world is where i live. and sometimes the most horrible things happen. and also, it is beautiful, enough to make you ache, and i love her. so i write to her.
- because words, my words, our words, matter, in all their many forms and faces. writing as art. writing as protest. writing as expression and exploration. as anchoring and navigating, mining and deep sea diving. writing as listening and as speaking. as a place and space where the ordinary, the quotidian, can co-exist and even fall in deep love with the sudden heartbreak, the astounding loss, the trauma, the pure rush of luck. so i write to name my own self and the world around me, which is to define and differentiate and create, and i write to remember how it is, that i am, the world is, always and already whole. really, this is it. i write because i can, because i want to, because i love. this is enough for me. it is everything.
- its rather easy, i think, to be critical of what someone else did, to pick apart and complain, to insult, to say why something is bad or stupid or a waste. it's much harder to risk and choose, and make something of your life, your days, your work. to piece together. to create something. to build brick by brick. writing makes me stop paying attention to the tearing apart, because i'm too full giving my devotion to making something real.
- because i miss her. because i think of all these things i want to tell her, would tell her if the door was open. but i’m here, on this side of the threshold, and they remain in me. so i sit down and write.
- i do not have a cycle. this, the writing, is how i keep time now, know where the moon is, or what day it is, or how long its been since i last kissed while it was raining outside and everything was dark.
- the way ink feels when it spills on skin. the smell of geranium during transition. the night of the luau, when i cracked open all the coconuts with a hammer and machete. the way white pants look, those first minutes of wearing, before anything can touch them. the skull. the detective novel i stayed up all night to read. the tin metal toy car i had as a child. the haunting of a thing. the cadence. the crying in my apartment, week and after week, until it just stopped one day, and we never heard it again. the way words settle into the body. the way words mean something, and then can be released and you walk on.
- because it feels good, the doing of it, the act of writing itself, the putting one word down and then another, the map that gets made from this to that, the traveling and the return. it just feels good.