Words may seem like the silliest of little things, stubborn and childish. At times, I find myself dragging them out by their baby fat arms, maybe even bribing them with fresh obsidian ink. Trust me, their heels stay grounded on the floor of your palate, shoes squeaking with friction as you pull and pull. When it gets worse, they simply cross their arms, huff out vehement resentment, then with their oddly shaped bodies, trot under your tongue. Now you’re really in trouble, because you can’t reach for them there. But you know they’ll come out eventually, they’ve got to eat somehow. You’ve given up, you’re sinking into the leather armchair, thinking, maybe you should just resort to making armchairs instead of writing. Practical, and there’s no hide and seek with them. And as you slowly fall asleep, with your jaw open, the words crawl out, one behind the other, and place themselves onto the paper, with infinite patience. With an ornate smile, they let themselves down, their spine going clack..clack..clack like the sound of a retractable pen being clicked.
As a writer, I must observe the earth as if everything unfolding before me were a delicate petal slipping through the ring of my right thumb. I’m grasping it, I’m nearly there at having it all figured out but I’ll have to take another look- that’s my attitude on everything I discover. I’ll look at you, but not only in the eyes, and I won’t just read you like a book. I f you let me, I’ll submerge myself completely into water colored by the ink of your most terrible impulses. I’ll learn to memorise the way your knees click, how many times a day you tiptoe, what fingers you use to tap surfaces. I’ll notice how the wind creates fluctuations in our lives and I’ll learn that though I cannot grasp, I can try to imitate nature’s way of dancing with me and waltz across paper to explain it all. I’ll never be able to explain it all, and the size of the shard you’re given is either too big or too small- we’ll never know. What I can know is, what I’ll search to listen for at 4am (crickets), what emotions allow me to sink into a leather chair and what environment spills like hot lava over my nerves. I can learn how to sink languidly with how being this “me”, this “human”, feels like. I haven’t been given an instruction booklet so sometimes I still can’t fathom reactions this body will muster up; but I have figured out that this lead digging into paper or what my mind is able to string together and expel into the outer world will always be my task and my mother’s embrace. Not like a net or an anchor, but more like an overhead cloud or the gravel under my feet.
I think the biggest gift is being able to find beauty in the smallest of occurrences. And constantly being shocked by it, like a child.