I have mistakenly discovered that writing is a sickness of the self-inflicted variety – not a virus but a disease. An earnest writer, one with candor and humility must drive a dagger through her heart, allowing the darkened, profuse blood to spill out, never cowering under a band-aide, never permitting sutures to make her whole again.
She must lick her wounds willingly, knowing that each and every lockbox of stored, past memories will be forever opened with a single master key amidst the dagger’s path. The key – damaged, unable to lock anything away again. The writer must trudge forward with the open wound that inevitably carries with it an unavoidable illness – an illness so lethal, it will one day kill her. And she’ll die – glad that she let it.
Some of the greats have described this is in other, more concise words…
Hemingway – “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Steinbeck – “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”
Bukowski – “He asked, “What makes a man a writer?” “Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”
Misery, I tell you. Complete and utter misery. The indescribable though palpable passion to write is the acceptance of one’s downright madness, embracing it like your closest kin. Vulnerability becomes a consistent way of being.
And when you’re not writing, that, too, is absolute misery. There is no escape. I chose to tell my truth and there is no going back.
Someone once ignorantly said to me when I informed her of my planned return to the west coast from New York, “I can’t help but think that you’re trying to run from your problems.”
At the time, I probably scoffed, shook my head and ensured this person that this wasn’t so. I didn’t feel the need to explain because the truth is, my problems, in fact, most people’s problems are not problems that can be ran away from. If the solution to my problems were as simple as a cross-country move, I probably would have made that move a lot sooner.
Alas, my biggest problem then and my biggest problem now are learning how to live in a world where my mother doesn’t exist – A world where I cannot pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end, a world where she is nowhere to be seen or heard. There are no solutions and there are no cross-country moves that will ever make this okay so I will just write. I won’t run and I won’t hide – I will simply just write – About that – About life, love, and my experiences. I will sit at my computer or my notepad and I will bleed.