Thursday, February 24, 2011

That poor, poor girl.

That poor, poor girl.
She didn't know what she was getting into.
Didn't know until two years later when she came out the other side of it.
That poor, poor girl.
Already survived so much. Too much to really be healthy.
She didn't know the difference between respect and attention.
It was a slow lesson. With many tears.
That poor, poor girl.
She can't even say his name now without that hollow place coming to life.
So sweet. So cruel. So selfish.
Ah, the poor girl.
She is learning all over again what it is to be free.
Doesn't trust the honest words of the next man.
Keeps waiting for the next blow.
The poor girl.
She didn't know what she was getting into.
But now she's afraid of what comes next.

What are you?

I am a writer. I need to learn to own the word. Always before today I would say, "I like to write." or "I write things."  But no more. I am a writer.

Somehow in my mind I reduced the word to a mere profession. As if I could only legitimately call myself a writer if someone paid me to do it. Some profit from my craft. But writing for me isn't about making money. It is a selfish endeavor to express myself, work out my feelings, wonder, create, rail against, speak, sing, be. I am a writer.

I don't just write when my hands are on a keyboard or a pen. I write all day long as I see and experience and think. There is this inner voice trying to find the best way to describe a room, to sum up a situation, to find the meaning in pointless, horrible, wonderful things. I am a writer.

I see popular media representing "writers" as people that have been working on the first page of a manuscript for a dozen years. They call themselves writers and people give them the sad, knowing look. Sure, you're a writer. But creating a manuscript for someone to judge and deem worthy or not is not my goal. I don't care if anything I write ever gets published. Okay. That is a lie. It would feel really great for something like that to happen. But I'm not trying for that. When I write stories or poems or blog entries or letters to my friends it is because I find pleasure in the act.

To me it amounts to singing. I sing all day long. When I'm putting on make-up. When I'm waiting on customers. When I'm driving down the road and the people in the passing cars give me looks. Karaoke. The shower. While cooking.While listening to other people talk. It feels great when someone tells me I sing well. When people clap at karaoke and pat me on the back. But that isn't why I sing. It feels nice to sing. So I do it.

I do many thing for the reward inherent in just doing them. I smile. I dance. I cook things. I hang out with my friends. I read books and watch movies. I go for walks. I write. I am a writer.

This whole post was an exercise to convince myself that I am allowed to own the word. Somehow, I still don't believe me.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Wherein Sarah Jo makes references to Lucky Charms and Japanese Curry:

I don't have a poem to write. Or some insight I discovered today. I just wanted to write.

The other day I woke up from a dream that was so vivid I had to write it. I worked backwards from the moment that struck me until I found a place to start. It was so nice. The words just poured out of me until my fingers hurt and I realized hours had passed. Now what am I going to with it? It is a barely-there story beginning about vampire hunting in Europe. And finding a vampire. I don't want to write any more about it. I just wanted it to be written.

I think the unfortunate part of my passion for writing is that it ends after the story is written down. I don't care if anyone else reads it. I don't care about editing or publishing or any of that, really. I just wanted to develop the story and see what it could be. For my own enjoyment.

I do eventually want to write my own story. I know I'm not anything sensational. I don't really have a lot of selling points for the reader that knows nothing of me, but I have things to say. And I've learned much through the years that have gotten me here. I may be young, but life has taught me wisdom. I could share some of that. And make you laugh too.

But not tonight.

Tonight I'm ruminating on relationships (not the romantic kind.) I haven't come to a point yet though, so I can't really share my thoughts with you. Have you ever made curry? When making Japanese curry you toss these bricks of curry into a pot of water and vegetables and wait for it to thicken. You hope it will thicken. You watch and wait and stir. I think this is where I am right now with my thoughts.

I spent time talking with several of my friends this evening at different points. They all seemed to have something upsetting happening in their lives they needed to talk about. It happens often this way. Sometimes things just go wrong in peoples lives. But I had this great well of peace inside me that felt like it was just flowing outward. I wanted them to have it too.

But I don't know the cost of such peace. Is it a different price for all of us? Did I have to experience all of my own stuff to get here? Was that my price for peace? Or was it waiting for me all along, just waiting to be taken hold of? No. I could never have known such peace before this. I know the uncertainty, doubt, fear, and pain that life can bring. That makes the peace have value.

Still, I wish I could give it to them. I wish everyone could be here where I am. I wish I could stay this content forever. I know such things aren't possible, but it doesn't stop my brain from trying to figure out a way to share it, to make it last.

I'm sleepy now. My fingers are missing appropriate keys and I feel like I'm chasing coherent thoughts around inside my head like the last marshmallow in a bowl of cereal. Elusive.