Ok. I am going to be brave. Very brave.
Last night, I wandered into my bedroom, sat at my desk, and put my fingers on the keyboard. "Let's do a bit of freewriting," I thought. "See where your mind, and your fingers, take you."
This is what appeared on my screen. Most of it is verbatim. I edited only a few places to help it make sense. But it flowed out of me. Time stopped. I couldn't hear the music playing in the background. I couldn't hear my daughter shrieking with delight over her latest adventure on her Scooby Doo video game.
I was in my writing world. I was free.
Here it is:
I have this mental image in my head of me sitting at the computer, tapping away, eyes concentrating on the screen, my mind completely engaged in the act of writing. I do not sense time turning, I do no sense the change in temperature of the room, whether it be hot or cold, stuffy or cozy. I just write. I am the writer, at last, complete in her bliss, doing what she loves to do.
And then reality coldly chucks me on the chin, a bony finger with a pointed nail, that scratches my flesh and returns me to my mental prison.
“No, that is not how it is, not today,” it says. Reality is cruel and unforgiving, snatching your dreams from you as quickly as a dog retreats from an abusive master.
“But it can be like that today,” I protest.
Then the mind plays its game again, the wall sliding into place, click, click! And it is shut.
“How do I open it? How do I get to that place?” I cry. My fingers dig into the metal, but leave nothing but fingerprints and sweat and fear.
Yes, fear. Always the fear. Perhaps it comes out at such times as these because it knows I am weak, knows that my mind is fragile. The words have been dormant too long, fighting for air, being squelched by too many other things in life. Demands and deadlines and drama. They have not been allowed to be released, to meander through the fields and wind their way around the brain, playing, flirting, clashing, again and again.
Fear says, "Stop, you’ve written enough, no more, no more! It will not be good, it will drag you into the muddy underside of a worm’s belly. There will be no release from it, no salvaging it."
Yet you refuse. You purse your lips, heedless of the cracked skin, heedless of the throbbing in your head demanding you go lay down, let the battle be over, acquiesce to fear’s heckling laughter. Your fingers continue to move and create and work, over and over, letters then words then sentences then paragraphs. Images. Emotions. Thoughts. All there, all clamoring for space. You watch them, let them go play, let them create havoc on the page, let them climb up and down and around and through, over and back.
Fear retreats in the midst of the words' giggling joy. It is powerless, hiding behind its cloak of imagined steel. The words ping against it, rain at first, then snow, then hail, tearing the cloth, exposing fear’s sordid, skeletal body for what it is – fragile and thin. Breakable. Surmountable.
It crumples, hands raised in defeat, in torment, pleading for mercy. You do not give it. You do not surrender. You are its master. Victory is yours.
Well. There it is. My written assault against the fear of writing. And let me tell you, it felt good to write it. Does it make sense? Probably not. But that's ok. Stream of consciousness is sometimes a good thing. It unlocks the mind and makes it possible to create.
What amazes me is that I really like some of the imagery in this - even though I have no idea where it came from. And that is writing. That is happiness. That is joy.
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