There are days when writing feels like the first day in a new school, dressed in homemade clothes, and being beaten up when we arrived at the bus stop. It is not easy to walk into the big crowded room and have a tallish stranger direct us to a seat, sometimes with the warmth of a December snowfall.
We take out our notebook, the same one we used two years running already, but the paper is new, even if our Moms tell us that we should more often erase instead of beginning new pages. Some of the kids make signs at us like we are monkeys at the zoo, and others just smirk and focus on their desks.
We settle in to learn, knowing it is why we must be humiliated like this again and again.
Ah, forward, today we approach the page, and we grovel humbly seeking a word, subject, name, anything to give us a start. We know we can do it because we have written countless times before, but nerves may set in reminding us, no one has to like it. We try to smile, it does not matter, but who does not love adulation? Do not all of us want our spot in the bright lights with waves of applause?
Maybe we dart outside the lines and try to go out of bounds, to preserve the effort, to stop the clock. The clock that often yells, “Time is running down. Will we busy ourselves figuring out all the things we must?” New methods, forms, addresses, compatriots, styles, genres, and we are so overwhelmed, the words hide in the mental caverns and will not show up.
Today, we would skip, paint, cook, vacuum, scrub tile, anything to avoid writing because even when we leave it, running away, the work is us. We cannot divorce ourselves because we were born to it. It is as real as our birthday and will follow us to the moment of death. Writing is inside, outside, besides, over, under, around, everywhere, everyone, how, what, when, who, where, if, but, and by now, it should be known, writing never lets us go. It may be unwilling to care for us, but it is inevitable, we shall care for it, and there will be no escape.
Celebrate, celebrate those lines we drew out of the well, ones we harnessed that they mean our meaning and present our thought. It is hard, words are obscure, can be obnoxious in their games of hide-&-seek. Every line, sentence, is a victory, a hard-fought battle won.
Never Give Up! Allow no gags around our thoughts. Never drown our heads in buckets of apathy. Show up, dig deep, overcome obstacles, persist, because the world needs the words of the thinkers, poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists, journalists, artists, those who are attentive beyond the surface and dance with the indivisible invisible. Conscious thought is in high demand throughout the world, in our land. We must be courageous and keep going even when our hearts become frosted with feelings of cold. Light the fire and go, go, be the ones who experience, hear, know, see, and stand forever for freedom for even the least. Lift love a banner of work, over every land, and all peoples. Be a voice, authentic and meaningful, in this and all times.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan