Right to Write

IMG_1726I was born here, in this soft pink body, twenty-five years ago and by all accounts my words were born with me; a brain full of the desire to connect the abstract to the solid, the unnameable to the named. I remember a time before I could speak, except in my memories I am speaking clearly and it’s others who don’t understand me– no, I say from my high chair, it’s those Ritz crackers I want. The crackers, of course I want the crackers! While my mother patiently holds up another snack, another. The way sisters tell it (my sister, my parents’ sisters) I was speaking in absurdly full sentences well before I was two, and by the time I actually got to school, I was reading Magic Tree House and The Boxcar Children with a streak of independence and stubbornness that only grew as I did. I wouldn’t talk to anyone about my books, and I mostly insisted on choosing everything for myself. Recommendations were extremely suspect.


Reading, clearly reading was my thing. Is a thing, still. When my fragile parts get rattled, when I get sick, when I am done with a long day or seeking calm in the misty sunlight of morning, books are here. They always have been, and in the wake of drugs I find they are exactly the safety net I need to know that reality is always changing, is always different for all souls.


Writing, writing is trickier. I have recently decided that I too can write. Not in the sense of mechanics or “am I worthy of the art” or things that might have been a worry to me– no, it’s much more of a concern with labels, I think. Other people have called me a writer since I was eight. I hadn’t written anything, it made me mad. I didn’t know if I was a writer. When they call me a writer now, I still think I haven’t written anything, but I find pieces of what I’ve written and there it is. Real. I also got a pair of glasses a few years ago and that really helps. I jokingly (sort-of jokingly) referred to them as my Right to Write and my sister understood more, perhaps, than I meant for her to.


It’s not yet clear that the label will be helpful or not. Like all labels, usefulness is the scale I will measure it upon, and there is no verdict yet. There is something I do know (watch as I stretch it into two somethings): periodically, every week or three, I feel a massive urge to shit but I know it’s not in my bowels, and I potter around wondering whether I’m hungry or restless and I sit down and write a Facebook post that is usually a few big paragraphs long and I feel much better. Also, since I started doing this, a few people whom I really, really respect and whose brains are dazzling to me have told me that writing is a Good Idea for me.


So here I am making a switch, making a space for myself to write that is not Facebook, and is not a folder on my computer, and is not the cluttered nooks where I tuck pages off my typewriter. I have resisted doing this for a while (years) in part because I wanted direction and some sense of theme, I wanted an organized mission statement or something official to write up, I wanted a comments policy and all the fanciness I see on other blogs. But let’s be real, the writing is the point. My writing is the point. I am not necessarily doing it for an audience (you might have noticed a rather boring beginning here) but I am doing it in the name of that sensation-like-shit, that feeling that something well-formed needs to come smoothly out of me and land…. somewhere. Here. I made it a spot. Here.


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