Sometimes I’m petrified that I’ve lost it. And by this I don’t mean the type of losing it where you have to explain to your perplexed and skeptical family that many years ago, a group of old white men in white coats decided that depression is in a fact a real disease and that you have it. By losing it I mean the ability to touch pen to paper and write lives and worlds into existence. Somehow, bony fingers tapping angrily at metal don’t hold quite the same appeal. I’m scared of waking up one morning, fingers itching to create, tap-tap-tapping away at nothing.
This does not make you different; you have writer’s block. Welcome, you have officially arrived. Your ticket admits only one. One soul, not many characters clamoring to be written into reality. Please sit down and enjoy the show, but don’t talk too much. You really are not that special and frankly, no one cares to listen.
I crave whatever is a step beyond the horizon, whatever is just above the highest summit you could reach. Infinity + 1, I want to write what is just behind the mind’s eye, ever so slightly and frustratingly out of reach. I want to write that declaration of love that is perched precariously at the tip of my tongue like a baby bird taking its first flight. One gust of wind could condemn it to a fear-filled descent, paralyzed in terror, fatal impact with hard earth. Or, soaring above summits and beyond horizons buoyed by the warmth of success and acceptance. In fact, I want to write just to write, to soothe the pain in my back where the stab of all unwritten stories is lodged, throbbing and throbbing for release.
Selfish. Never content. Is this really why you write?
I want to cause riots. I wish to destroy, to uproot, to incinerate. Before you call a “professional”, someone who could help me “work through my issues”, listen. I want your mind to riot. I want the possibility I write to dance down a street in your head and remove all your insecurities and misconceptions. I do not inspire bloodshed and looting, I bring to you an emotional revolution. I want to tear down the boundaries that stand between you and your ancestors, to bring you back to the soil that formed you. How? I want to write away the pain, and years of not belonging. I want to write you a home that transcends an icy reception on foreign shores, one that surpasses the reluctant welcome offered in the dry heat of harmattan, like clockwork, year after year. I want to re-build, let the words caress your shoulders and gently push them to open back up, strong and broad. Let the words circle your neck and elevate the carriage of your head, before they massage your aching muscles, smooth out the knots in your back and undo your wrinkles.
Idealistic. How powerful do you think your words are? Can they support the weight of this burden? How can they take away the bite of cruel reality?
I want to write shooting stars and long nights spent talking about the imprint you want to leave on this earth. I want to bring life to those caricatures of the people we could have been, who we are, who we would like to be. I want to write not for writing’s sake because it sounds vaguely like music, familiar strains teased out of a balafon that other day centuries ago. I want the words to give you a mirror, a shoulder to cry on, a call to action, a prayer. I want to write the collision of alternate universes, even if only one aunt reads and feels the impact, but is too scared of my moth wing-thin ego to point out all the mistakes. I do this for you.