word. (on the exaltation found on the other side of writer's block)

November 12, 2015  •  1 Comment


It's been a long time that I've been looking for you.  I understand that looking for you isn't like looking for something tangible; I really can't expect to find you under a pile of magazines or behind a sweater in the closet.  When I was first started searching, I looked out.  When that didn't work, I started looking in, but the problem was that when I looked in, I didn't sing to you.  I clawed at you to come out.  For years I did that, while you were hibernating.  The wielder of a perfect combination of words, a message worth repeating, worth sharing.  I tried, again and again, but it seemed that the more I tried, the less I actually liked what came out.


At one time in my life, I thought, I was a writer.  It was what I did.  Whether on a home turf beach, or as a silent stranger in a voluptuous city, or with orphaned chimpanzees on the rim of the Congo basin, where rainforest lightning storms pulsated the same electric heartbeat into every denizen in the jungle, I wrote.  I wrote for the enormity of deafening sanctity, weeping in the pew of a humble village church up Keauhou mauka, and for the delicious, beckoning Kona sunset, still unmatched in the things that even its memory does to my heart.  I know that I wrote because I have the journals to prove it, some stashed in Hawaii, some in Chicago, some in India.  They may not weather the storm of forever-ness, but for a lifetime or two, they are there, my temporary mark on the world.


Then one day, I started writing less, and I discovered the very reason Buddhism says that detachment alleviates suffering.  Why did I start writing less?  I have no answer other than the one that says that change is inevitable, and no one thing will be that thing forever.  But as I watched you slip away -- I am talking to you, writer -- my panic grew.  Who was slipping away?  Was it me?  And if I slipped away for good--


Who was left?


I fought this, which seems silly in retrospect.  A struggle against the current.  Oh, if you spoke to me, I would have no hesitation telling you how important it is to surrender, really surrender.  And yet, here I was, fighting what was happening, and in the process, living inside my tidy little lie.


I am a writer.


I am a writer.

(I just don't write anymore.)


The problem with living inside a lie is just that -- you are living inside of something.  You are cloaked and suffocated, in a latex suit, fit perfectly to your own body.  You never forget you are inside this suffocating thing.  And the problem with the Truth is that it doesn't go away.


Still I sat in front of this same brick wall, rubbing it mercilessly, maniacally, forming blisters and then rubbing some more, thinking that if I worked at it hard enough, eventually I would release the storm that was building behind it.  Blowing a sailboat across an ocean.  Stretching a lifetime to an eternity.  The dust fell softly at my feet (the sad degeneration of a fair queendom), fine white powder dust, ancient sands wrung through volcanoes and time, and with the dust accumulated the eventual shards and slivers.


And I kept cutting my toes.


The Truth was that it was all a mess of white smoke and I couldn't see a damn thing, but as the curtain began to clear, I realized that I could actually see something.  There was something there.  It had two legs, two arms, a heart, and it wanted to go somewhere.  It wanted to sing something or maybe even yell something.  It had blonde hair and a host of thoughts that jangled from one end of her head to the other.


My, oh my.  It was me.  And I was writing.


Well written piece of truthful introspection! Self discovery is part of the raison d'être.
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