Every time I go to write, I get scared. I feel like there is a heaviness and a rush of life that I have to capture in my mind and let pour out through my fingers on to paper before it gets lost in the vastness and that the balance and harmony of the earth and the planets is in that moment contingent solely upon me. It’s much like surfing a wave – if you don’t catch it at the exact right moment, it will pummel you down and disappear back into the depths of the unforgiving ocean, leaving you to float there weightless and dissatisfied. More waves will undoubtedly come, but you will never again see the wave that defeated you. If you do happen to catch it, there comes a rise inside your soul that sends you gliding through the wind so long as you hold your footing. Writing is never effortless. It may sometimes be inspired and flowing, but it is never effortless and there is always a risk of it getting lost.
I am the surfer who fears (if not missing the wave entirely) catching the wave and botching the ride. I am afraid of what I will write and that it won’t be as beautiful or as elegant as I feel it should be when I imagine it inside my head. I fear I’ll try to stand too soon and the wave will crash over me, throwing me against the floor of the ocean with its magnitude and force. But maybe writing is like that sometimes too. Maybe writing is feeling the impact as it jars your body and reverberates through your skull rendering you dizzy and disoriented and sends your vision spinning until you’re brought back to reality by the taste of blood running through your teeth. Maybe writing is the retching that occurs after the blood runs down your throat and makes you sick. Maybe it’s the bruises you’re left with the next day and the ache in your hands and the soreness that makes standing a monumental task. And maybe it’s the gentle sleep that lulls you toward the warmth of the sun and the relief of the breeze and eases your pain into rest. Maybe it’s the memory that lives intertwined in the broken and crushed shells you lay your back upon, countless and once thriving but now fragmented into one body of indistinguishable sand. And maybe it’s all of this. Writing is one of the only things with power enough to soothe the pain it causes. We give to it the things we want to remember but feel are too heavy to carry. It is a way of letting go while holding on. The pen and paper are the only things between us and the writing itself. The writing is in us and when we free it, it returns to us a sense of triumph, heartache, and release.
I have realized that I am always trying to write a masterpiece. I feel a great longing to write, but if I do not feel that I have a concrete idea that is noble enough to be recorded and shared, I am wont to leave it lying dormant until it is eventually extinguished. I need to teach myself that all writing is worth something and that it does not have to be fantastic to be beautiful and to serve its purpose. I feel so much better when I write. Writing feels like an extension of who I am and when I write, it is like I am recording a piece of myself to be shared. To be reflected upon. Maybe to be mourned. And maybe even to be celebrated.