Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Write Because I Must....

I write because I must. It is a natural function of my body, just as breathing or blinking or sensing are. And, much like these other natural functions of the body, when forced, they do not work as they should. When I let go, when I let the words form as they wish - as they need to do -- in my mind before I put pen to paper or words on the page, the results are a beautiful affirmation of life. Yet when i do not do this, when I try to coerce the creation, like trying to hold back my breath, stop blinking, or stop feeling, the process rebels. It is awkward, painful, ugly.

I love the geography of writing. Gentle waterfalls of words, rushing over stones of punctuation, sometimes temporarily dammed by them, plunge on in cascades of rhythm, images, and sounds. Each new line is like a new road to be explored, to find which path should be traveled, which hidden glens might be revealed. When I let myself go, without forcing the process, my mind takes me to unimagined sites, tripping and turning, skipping and prancing, til finally I can collapse in contented exhaustion. This is why I write. It reflects the majesty of life. It tells the story of humanity -- of my humanity -- as it demands to be told. There are stories that lie within me, images that must be sketched out, verbal catharses that must be reached.

Most often, I write in my head, long before I begin to put anything down in ink on the page. I often spend hours - or days - letting it percolate in the recesses of my conscious mind, rolling off the edges of my senses like dewdrops from the morning leaves. When the sense of the piece has come together, I finally release the gates and let the words come rushing out, eager to be heard, desperate to be recorded for all - or no on e- to see.

Writing for me is who I am. I have been writing since I can remember, dabbling in different genres, styles, and voices, but always returning to the place of most comfort for me - the place of poetry. In poetry, I find beauty and ugliness, simplicity and complexity, hope and despair. It is in poetry that I find the truest expression of the human experience, in all its various modes and phases. And though I often dream of publishing some great work of literature that the world will admire, in truth I write for myself, and myself alone, to help guide me through this tempestuous and complicated reality called life.

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