I woke up thinking, I don’t know how to write anymore.
The pages seem to remind me each time I sit down to change them from a cold white to a peppered display.
No, I thought again, I know how to write, it is the what to write that makes me wonder. What are these empty pages becoming and is there a use for that today? And who am I to scrape words into a pile in times like these?
Over the years I’ve cracked open and spilled out, letting words splash from my tongue in an uninterrupted dance. The cracks began to heal and then harden and now I interrupt my own programming, a thumb pressing hard against the STOP button of an out-of-date cassette player, the needle scratch on the record, a blurred video screen.
Some days, I rewind, I reread, I wonder how words once came so easily. I fast forward back to today, press PLAY, and enlist my ears to listen in:
My home has become my office which has become my purpose, propping me up, and on the slower days, letting me down. My relationship has become the Sun or the Shadows depending on the status of my mind and the forecast of our spinning world.
The world lets us down like rainfall — pooling up for some in bright useful buckets or for others in oceans of wealth and for others in dark puddles of causeways with nowhere to drain and every which way to spill.
I once read a quote that we are all in the same stormy water, but navigating in separate god damn boats. I find it a challenge not to compare, don’t you?
Some days I am not sure what to do but nothing at all, the Netflix logo brightening up the living room as the gray shadows from March somehow remain outside my windows. Glasses that held summer’s sparkling rosé sit idle in my cabinet and wafts of chocolate from an oven eager to create a cookie-shaped burst of joy warm my home. Social media exposes nothing and if I linger too long in it’s sticky web, the joy I created just to share — disappears.
This may be the proof that I needed that I do know how to write. Writing must be an honest discharge of the heart’s contents: when you squeeze it, you release what’s inside. My heart is heavy and tired in my ribcage, but I never have to remind it to keep beating. I never have to.
We move forward, we continue on. We salvage what we can during the break in the storm and we linger with our toes in the sand by the crashing waves. We build fire, we make tools, we learn as we go. We lean onto each other like fallen branches, making shelter in the arms that widen to hold us. Even if those arms are many times just our own.
It’s month number nine of a global pandemic and no, I have not forgotten how to write.