Monday, October 26, 2015

even after all the evidence is gone


Some days, I think about giving up on writing. It wouldn't be that hard to do, I think. Instead of my writing group every other Monday, I will clean my apartment or start watching a tv show on Netflix. Or I will spend the time going through that top shelf on my bookcase where I keep all my writing books. Bird by Bird and The Writing Life and On Writing. And the poetry books that inspired me, the Jane Kenyon and Mary Oliver. I will box them up and take them to Goodwill and display framed photos of my family in their place. Or I will go through the stacks of magazines on my coffee table. The Poets and Writers and the Creative Nonfictions and the tablets of handwritten practice, they will go into recycling. I will rip pages from my journal where I took notes on writing or scribbled ideas for essays. I will take the nametags from conferences hanging on the mirror in my bedroom and put them in the trash. I will go through the word documents on my computer and drag all those essays I've written into the recycle bin, along with pdfs of essays I've loved and saved in case I ever teach a course. I will go through my blog reader and take off all those writing blogs. I will unsubscribe from emails that encourage writing or invite me to writing conferences. I will unfriend all my writing friends on Facebook. I will learn to look disinterested when my coworkers and creative friends begin to talk to me about writing, and I will delete their emails that recommend links to essays and articles before even opening them. I will untrain my mind to wonder about word choice and sentence structure and idea development when I read books.

But then that one tiny thing will remain, the thing I don't know how to rid my life of, and I will wonder how a husband leaves the wife of his youth or how a mother releases her baby into the hands of another because isn't there still that softly beating rhythm in her heart that marks time, that pumps blood, that sustains life only because that other being is now a part of it? How do you forget that internal pressure that made you desire and hope and live for the other? Even after all the evidence is gone, something inside still remembers.

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