Nov 10, 2009
On Writing, and Life.
I had an early love for writing. Outrageously early, if you were to ask me today. I was that girl in your third grade class who always sat pensively at her corner desk, head bent over a sheet of wide-rule, mechanical pencil oscillating from line to line like a pendulum, or a paintbrush. When time came for writing assessments throughout high school, I would join the choir of groans as they circled the classroom, but secretly, I would love every minute of it. And while I’ve never been a runner, I like to think that the same rush of tingly juices that ran through my veins would be coursing through the girl set up on the blocks-- my spoken permission to flip the page being her gunshot.
But some message or motivation between those years and this past week must have mis-bounced off of a satellite in my brain, because recently I have really, really despised writing. To be fair, I can’t blame it on Professors Roger, Smith, Jones and Johnson because all they’ve done is what I’ve essentially paid them to do: teach and assign. Now it’s my turn to deliver, and I’m standing at the door with cold pizza. Nobody likes cold pizza. (Except, perhaps, for us college kids. Even though that’s only because anything beats meat that would be better used as raw material for a rubber bouncy ball.)
These days I feel more like I’m grasping for words, fumbling around for them in a dark room and tripping over everything possible. I read and re-read the words of storytellers whom I so admire (Don, Anne, Rick, Anne, Danielle, those untouchable geniuses at NPR) and I wonder at the world they must live in where the linguistic connection from heart to head to hand seems to run so smoothly. I recall the passionate, honest penmanship of Dr. King and Mother Teresa and I can only close my eyes and pray that something I contribute a small part to in life could ever be so impacting, and beautiful.
And ultimately, I sigh. Not defeated, not conquered, just taking a moment to remember. To remember the Greater Narrative, and the moments I’ve passed over too quickly along the way. To revisit good songs and recall nuggets of wisdom from an encouraging high-school teacher. Because even in the midst of coffee cups, GPAs and paychecks: life is happening. It’s being written all around. And if I pay attention at just the right moment, I may not stumble over the next good story. No, in fact, I may get to write it.