I can go weeks without feeling the urge to write anything.
And when I say urge, I mean a pulsing, beating, yell that bangs around in my head. Sentences and phrases that shift around and I can see them. They're white block letters and they bounce off of each other - kinda like some Microsoft screensaver from 1998.
There's a gurgle. Something happens.
Maybe it's a good song.
Maybe it's a quiet night at home.
Maybe it's the afternoon after the last bell rings for class, and my pen is just perfect.
And the words come out. Tumbling. Forming before I even know what's happening. I rarely edit, I hardly ever change my word choice.
Once it's out.
Once I've written it down and typed it out --
That's what I've got to say.
It's an exorcism on some kind of basic level. Once the words are out, I exhale. And the words swimming through my brain tissue stop for just a second.
And then I hear a beautiful, softly spoken poem with a cadence that flicks goosebumps all over my arms.
Or I read a line from a book that has an odd juxtaposition.
Maybe I see a kid on the street hiding behind the tree covered in crusty snow, wearing her mom's old primary colored snow suit ... armed. Loaded down with perfectly formed snowballs that her dad probably showed her how to make in one of those memories that she'll think back on fondly when she's a grandmother.
Waiting for her brother to walk innocently down the sidewalk.
Waiting for the moment to jump from hiding, screaming a hallelujah-time-to-meet-your-maker thing, pelting the poor brother, and then running. For dear life. Because Brother Pay Back is a whole different sort of come to Jesus.
Or I see my own kid standing in the living room and spin on his toes, falling hard to the floor, and laughing a laugh that is still so young. Still so new. He's still trying on the different sounds - trying to pluck out the one that best suits him.
My mom asks me sometimes where I get The Writing Thing from and I look at her like she's crazy. Between the way that my dad tells stories with his hands and his eyes and his big heart and the way that she loves everything so damn hard - well. The gurgling of the words that are tied to human emotion -- how can I even begin to stop something that is in my bones?
Given to me by both of them.
My brother has this look that he gets when he's listening. It's half mom and half dad and sometimes I think no one ever sees it but me. He purses his lips like mom and he considers with his eyes like dad. When he laughs, he looks down like dad, but shakes his shoulders like mom.
The Maori people of New Zealand preach that you're your momma on the front and your daddy in the back and they're melded together to make you.
I'm calling that a fabric. Woven. My hands have always been meant to hold a pencil and my brother's hands have always been meant to help his neighbor.
So when I think about this writing thing.
This how I find my rhythm thing.
This gurgling, excising of words thing.
I think about the fabric that I carry deep in my starred composition. When Jesus said we were meant to move mountains, he really meant that we needed to pick up a shovel.
And my shovel is blue on some days, and others it's green. Ink splattering across the page and staining my palm. My fingers.
The words edge out through my closed off throat and a mountain shifts. A tectonic plate moves across my chest and I can breathe.
I can breathe.
I can breathe.
I can breathe.
When I write, when I flip open a yellow lined notebook or my Macbook, something happens. It's visceral. And I'm not very good at explaining it and I'm a writer and do you know how frustrating that is?
My mom was at the state capitol today in California. "Talking with senators," she said. So casually. She is a damn boss. Tenacious and smart and so funny. But she leads and people follow her.
My dad coaches all of my little brother's teams. I mean, he's an engineer, but ... He was just back from Australia on Saturday morning after 35 hours of travel and he still went to t-ball practice. Because in his bones -- in his soul -- he is a teacher.
My brother. Myyyy big brother. He has been drawing airplanes on sketchpads, napkins, sticky notes ... for as long as I can remember. And now - I mean ... I'm not 100% sure because he works for the National Reconnaissance Office in D.C., but I'm pretty sure he's legitimately designing things.
It's a rhythm.
Mine started on the white steps of our front porch on the farm. A journal with kittens on the front. Pink. With hearts. I wrote about the sun over the trees. Eloquently, I'm sure.
But I wrote with a rhythm.
A rhythm that I'm only just now starting to understand.
Here's to finding yours.
Finding what is laced through your bones.
Just beyond what you can see.
Here's to chasing after that.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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