“And what do you do?”
“Well, um, I like to write.”
“Oh, interesting! What do you write?”
“. . .”
Someday, I want to have an answer to that question.
Right now, when the words “I like to write” slip out of my mouth, I hear instead “Well, I like the idea of writing something someday.”
But no person ever became a writer by thinking about it.
I think about plenty, though. It’s just been a long time since I’ve written.
Today I thought about how today’s sky was softer than yesterday’s sky; how today’s sky made Florida less of a seven-letter-word and more like something that might even be able to someday remind me of home. I thought about how the back of Aveline’s head still smells as pure and perfect as it did two years ago, and how when I go home my own momma pulls me close and breathes in and says, “Mmm, you smell good.” I thought about how I wanted to be able to do the same thing years from now, and then I thought about how, really, years aren’t given. Years are loaned, and years aren’t ours alone to hold.
I thought about heaven and how the soft sky would one day split, and I thought about the colors that would pour down. I wondered if there would be more than cerulean and midnight blue and the lavender of heather after the dew.
I thought about how music notes are really alive on their own, and I thought about how individually they dance, and how together they become something new every second, something beyond corralling with words.
And I thought about this earth, and the countries on every part of these sphere, and the children on the streets and in the orphanages, and the children with no homes. And I thought about how I don’t know how to help them and I don’t know what do, except that I need to do more. And I thought about all the tears I’ve cried over this, and how a burdened heart alone can’t change the world.
And I thought about all the times I’ve thought and not written, and thought but not acted, and thought but not done.
And then I remembered Wendell Berry, and the Muse of Realization, and thought about how maybe this place in the journey is exactly where I am supposed to be.
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
I want to sing.