On Writing

“When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” – Kurt Vonnegut


On my daily and nightly train commutes, in the hazy sunrise of morning and smoggy release of city dusk, I write.

I write when my eyelids sag and my head starts to nudge towards the window in slumber, when the commuters around me stare blankly into the weary distance. I once thought they were throwing away these useful hours by watching the scenery pass by the window, but now I see it as a collective pseudo-meditation, the short release between wasting away at computer screens and tending to the tedious household efforts of the Real World.

I write because sometimes I can feel that Real World grazing its chilly tendrils against the curve of my neck. Putting one word next to another in various patterns is the only way I know how to revolt against the downward spiral of greyness and complacency and regret that I see in the eyes of the suffering adults that warn me “it’s all downhill from here.”

I write because yesterday I saw a vanity license plate that said “PUBL1SH” and my heart broke that I have notebooks bursting with musings yet nothing coherent that I could bind and hand to a publisher with a wink.

I write because two of my beloved writing supports died before any of us could turn 18, and if these tumbling creative sparkles can’t pump through their physical hands anymore then I had better pick up the pace to cover some ground.

I write because people should know about the man at Union Station who does extravagant tai chi in the corner while commuters gawk at him. People should get to see his grace and silly smile like I do, should get to admire the wrinkles in his blue business suit as his muscles slowly move through space, should get to find peace in his unabashed individuality.

I write because my friends have already heard my exaggerated stories, but I still can’t seem to stop telling them.

I write because the crazed yearning for both peace and self-destruction that rests at the core of my trichotillomania might be the same as what’s causing someone else’s addiction, and hopefully one day I will say something that sparks miraculous healing in that person or in myself.

I write because I want to change the world before I die. I write because anyone who is reading this has already changed the world immensely by our vibrant daily choices – we just rarely stop to remember all the good we have done because we’re too busy comparing ourselves to others.

I write because I was once a glowing and innocent sixteen year old employee of a craft store who had to delve into the shackles of my OCD when I was told to clean up the ribbon aisle, and there’s probably a heartwarming lesson in there somewhere.

I write because I can’t sing or paint or sculpt or create any other physical things of beauty, but that doesn’t dull the thud of my artist’s heart. I write because my twinkling years of ballet were underscored by enormous depression, and I’d like to bask in a deep well of creativity without hating my body this time around.

I write because Life is too big to handle on my own, because my conscious mind does not hold all the solutions, and in this vastness I want to know and breathe and smile in the boundless unknowing without taking myself too seriously.

I write because there is power in seeing my thoughts in front of me, and there is insight in scratching my head later and wondering what the hell I was thinking at the time.

I write because despite my immense faith, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, jaw clenched and brown eyes frozen open, sobbing with fear that there is no afterlife or Divine Order.

I write because in the heat of the moment I can never find the right words to say, and I wish I could take back those moments and replace them with the wisdom of a fiery and spunky alter-ego.

I write because I sometimes miss the crazed and panicking moments of losing all control. I write because nothing makes me feel so wretchedly alive than the psychosis that unfolds before I share my work with the world.

Part of a community art project on a bench in Rogers Park, Chicago

4 thoughts on “On Writing

  1. I think you write, as displayed in this entry, because you have something to say. I cannot wait until the entire world reads the story of your soul.

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