I never MEAN to go a week without writing. Writing is such a funny thing. Sometimes words skitter around in my brain. They coalesce into glistening soap bubble thoughts and phrases and I think to myself, “Oh yes, that’s really good!” But soap bubbles are so ephemeral that if I don’t catch them at the moment they float by they tend to disappear.  I sit and stare at a blank page opening all the drawers and closets of my mind and cursing minimalism because obviously someone else besides me is to blame. I blame Middle Places a lot too.  I blame kids and home school and life and facebook and real books, but the reality is that like anything else, if its important enough we will find the time to do it.

It is important, but it’s also a little bit scary, like riding the crest of a wave that could come crashing down at any moment, driving you ankles over ears into the sand, or worse yet, tumbling you round and round underneath it while never quite letting you reach the surface for that desperate gasp of air.  It’s also like a new-born child which you grew inside you, feeling it move and kick, flip and develop, occasionally hearing it’s whispery heartbeat. You wait so long for it to arrive, sometimes the labor is long and intense, sometimes it slides right out with barely an effort, but either way it’s every bit yours and oh-so-fragile and new.  But there’s always the chance that someone is going to stare at it slightly aghast and ask why does his nose look like that. Then you are caught between committing murder and running away to hide in a cave with your precious, perfect baby where no one will ever hurt you again.

It is like that too.

It’s work and it hurts sometimes.  It’s a little bit scary because no one else anywhere, ever will see things the exact way I do.  Which is why it’s important to share, which is why it’s ripe for criticism and critique.  Sometimes it skates across scars and pulls thorns from my heart and I bleed a little bit.  Sometimes it stands on the edge of a cliff and dares me and everyone else to just take one more step. Sometimes it flies free soaring over all the things that wait underneath to catch it and drag it down.

Oh yes, I have a million excuses.

But the words will leak out, like giggles when you aren’t supposed to be laughing, or the tears that prelude the big ugly cry. They tumble out the cracks of my pretty, pretty mask and lie there in brittle honesty on the table before me.

And I must catch them, my precious babes, and lay them gently down on paper so that I can see the world aright again.


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