…Writing…

For the past several months I have been writing…and writing…and writing.

Clutching moments from wherever I can, I must work it into my day, because although I am paid for what I write, I still don’t call it my “real” job. I find myself grabbing snippets of time to devote to pulling together letters that are not my letters but that belong to everyone. The letters that are readily available for anyone who chooses to make words, then sentences, then paragraphs, then pages, then chapters, then books.

Sometimes I worry that there will not be enough time to catch the words and thoughts I want to catch. I fear that others out in writers land may get there first. To those sentences that should have been mine, the ones I am truly thinking but can’t get to type fast enough. The ones scads of others are putting into blogs or posts or pages before I have time.

Today, I don’t click the mouse to see what’s out there before I write, because it will stop me. It will allow me to go to a place that won’t serve. A place of why bother? Why try? Because have you SEEN all those words out there in internet land??

A simple hit on a cursor would afford me writings on anything. Already put together passages are there for the taking on everything I could ever need. Inspiration beyond any I could muster. Information that goes beyond what I could ever gather first, but I don’t want to see it. I just want to trust my typing. And type…and type…and type.

Often I’ve set aside an hour only to find that I am still at the keyboard four or five or six later. When this happens, I have no recollection of time passing. And even though I’ve spent too much already, I think, “Just one more paragraph.”

It’s a trance like state, this place I arrive at soon after the first words hit the page. At the same time, it is both escape and arrival. The sentences form like paint on canvas, but I am no painter, although I’ve always wanted to be. Or wait, perhaps I am. The ink on paper my black paint on white canvas? Are the pages my canvas? Yes, I think so.

My art. It is everyone else’s and no one else’s. If you read it, is it honored? Does it even have to be? No, even if the words are never read, they form art the moment they hit the page. Their editing is no different than a sculptor re-shaping a piece of clay, a painter adding a bit more color or a sketch artist gently erasing. So, yes it is art.

That is why I think I am so drawn, pulled to the keyboard as if it calls my name. I am called to the flow of the letters that swirl together to make artistic statements that are mine. To pull together words that form pictures that wordies like me can understand. Art that feels good and true and whole.

Perhaps what satisfies me is following the structure of a sentence, but only to a point. Maybe it’s taking liberty with the rules learned back in grade school that calls to me. The simple, complex, compound guides to follow that I don’t always heed. Or maybe the underlines on grammar check are what excite me. The grammatical musts and shoulds calling me to keep the color inside the lines, even as I disregard them, provoke me. This breaking the rules while following them is electrifying. It is artistic prowess.

It is a game. One of finding the right way to say something with only twenty six letters shaped and re-shaped over and over. Going at it from angle after angle until you find it and then find it again.

Yes, I am writing. I am writing. I am writing. And for today, there is a big stack of thin white canvasses about to go into the printer. I wonder what will be created today.

And If I Ever Touched a LIfe, I Hope That Life Knows That Touching Is, Was and Always Will Be, The Only True Revolution.” Nikki Giovanni

I have to laugh.  I just sat and re-read my last blog.  Holy blah, blah, blah.  A bit wordy, but therapeutic nevertheless.  Sometimes the words come out so quickly, flowing and spilling over one another into the next one so fast that it’s hard to realize that you are saying the same thing over and over.  As I read it my first doubtful, fearful thought was “Oh God, what the heck would anyone think of this wordy piece?” …but then, my second thought was how damn good it felt to type every single word of it, to run my fingers over the keys as the sentences tumbled over each other.  And wordy or not, I remember how much the message helps me by typing it and I smile because that truly is the point.

This whole blogging thing has been therapeutic yes, but scary too.  Regarding my last blog, I’d actually written a different version earlier, but was afraid to post it because it was more specific, more raw, more blunt and because it put stuff so “out there.”  I worried that it was too personal even though gracepaidforward is for the most part anonymous.  The other one included references to my little sister and to some of “our” stuff.  My beautiful and amazing little sister who probably doesn’t know how much of both I think she is. 

I referenced her as “the littler girl,” the one I wasn’t really there for and who I didn’t protect very well and who I just didn’t have the tools yet to know how to love and honor better.  The one I wanted to look like and be like and the one, the only one I know, who would ever truly understand. 

I was so afraid that she would be mad at what I had typed, that she might accuse me of delving too deep into the past and that she wouldn’t like what I had written, so I deleted it.  Ironically, only moments after I did I got a phone call from her telling me that she had seen the post.  She sounded teary when she told me that she had read what I had written (she didn’t know I had just erased it) and that it had touched her, had made her cry.  She said I should write a book.  And I knew. I knew that from that moment on whatever I wrote going forward would be perfect no matter who would ever read it and no matter what they ever thought.  That one moment between the two of us would be enough to make all the rest of it worthwhile no matter what. 

I really love my little sister and feel truly blessed that she made that phone call to me.  I love that she was willing to be vulnerable enough to do so and I really wish I had a chance to go back and do it all a bit differently.  A chance to be a big sister, to be her champion.  An opportunity to not spend so much time pretending I felt better in my skin than I did, so that I could spend more time telling her how wonderful she was.  A chance to speak up for her and for me so that we could be better in today.  Perhaps it’s not too late.  And so, little sis, if by chance you get to read this blog, this one that I will absolutely NOT delete, I love you and honor you and completely and utterly understand, always.  We have each other