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poetryWhat to write about today? Should I talk about the big wig in my city who has come out with a new radio commercial where he reads the Lord’s Prayer? Should I talk about the latest news, Obama vs. Tiger Woods?  Should I delve back into my own psyche and bare my soul so that someone else can possibly understand life in a different context?  Or should I just started writing and see what happens?

I do that often; just start writing.  Sometimes I have an idea in my head, and if it accompanied by some rather large emotion, the words come smoothly and completely.  The trouble with posts that I find  important, or beautiful is that the world doesn’t necessarily agree with me.  Or I start to believe my own hype and convince myself that if people actually read my words everyone would be stunned into silence.

Sometimes I just write to get words on paper.  There is no direction, no point, no destination.  I like when there is no destination.  I like when I find myself as a writer with no road signs, yet I bring together a piece of writing so that it looks like I spent hours writing a full outline and diagnosis of my plot. I write books this way.  I have an idea, and I simply start writing, waiting patiently for my characters to tell me where they want to go. And it is the characters that will tell me; they completely ignore my own ideas.

But it always works. Whether I am writing with a specific point in mind, or if I am just writing for the cathartic release, it always works.  I look at my writing the same way I look at my breathing.  It is simply necessary for my continual existence.  It allows me to take the volatile emotions that I am plagued with and put it in perspective.  It allows me to be a doctor, a lover, an adventurer, rich, poor, beautiful and strong.  It allows me to be whatever my imagination decrees.

On the other hand, it is a tough taskmaster.  It requires time and dedication. It requires me to put down that book, or to stop playing with my child in order to sing to my muse.  It requires that I be open to ideas that confuse me, embarrass me, and hurt me.  It requires that I look within myself and see the truth as it is, rather than what I hope it could be.

Typically my writing is solitary, I hate interruptions and will actually snap at my husband like a lion defending her cub, when he enters even the same home as me, when I am writing.  It is absolutely personal, and I have learned that often it takes more guts and more courage than I have to share it.  The books that I write are part of the very fabric of my veins, and the poetry I write can not make sense to anyone other than myself.  It is hard to share that. It is hard to give that much of myself to the masses for their own contemplation.  I don’t want my reader to know me; just the words on the paper.

But it is necessary.  I tend to talk about like it is a drink to an alcoholic, or heroin to a drug addict.  It is purposeful, consuming, and at the end of the day exhausting.  But it is necessary.

I write to save my soul.  I often imagine that if I could do anything in the world, I would disappear, far away in seclusion, and simply write.  And it is that compulsion that is in constant war with the mother, the wife, the employee and the friend.  I can’t disappear to listen to my muse because then there will be no child.  And where would I find inspiration if there was no children?  I can’t disappear because then there will be no lover.  And where would I find inspiration if there was no love?  So while my muse points me in one way, it demands to be fed by those facing the opposite.  It tears me, it tries to destroy me, but it is necessary.

There are times that I wish, honestly, that I could turn to something constructive (like cleaning) with the same absolute passion that I write.  I imagine that I would have the nicest house on the block, the most well dressed children, the coolest meals for dinner. Instead it is the word that seduces me. It is the written word that takes me far away from my responsibilities, my duties, and my love.

For me, the written word is a mistress that can not forgive.

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