It’s different every day. Today, for instance, I feel like an entire hive at work within me. Bees have partitioned my bones into their waxy cubicles. Their buzzing is the backdrop rhythm of a city in motion and my thoughts are a sweet elixir on my throat. Writing lets me do this; pour honey from my soul onto my keyboard until it seeps between the buttons and envelops the motherboard something decadent.
But that’s today.
Sometimes, I’m a shaken can of soda. The bubbles crowd the thin aluminum top, pushing, shoving like Black Friday break-neck mobs who broke bread in gratitude the day before. Seems like I’m always one pop away from exploding, but it’s okay to blow up on the page, rat-tat-tat type until my fingers fire blanks. And after, I return to my intact living room; my drywall, porcelain plates, and soft glassware none-the-wiser.
Other times I write, I am a question mark. My thoughts present as enigmas; charged images, misplaced sounds and yet unnamed characters and emotions. Each piece, another part of the whole but I do not understand how until I investigate the unlit corners of my head. My writing is a magnifying glass with which to unpack the crime scene inside. I can be criminal and cop, victim and offender, and I can live these realities running through the echo chambers of my heart again and again until I resonate meaningful.
Sometimes, I hear static. Writing clicks me to channel 3.
Sometimes, I hear nothing at all. Loud, quaking nothingness that worms into my ear canals and grows roots in my pudding brain. But an empty mind leaves room for reflection. I scream into the abandoned space of the page until it manifests in ones and zeros.
There are many times I’ve written with purpose; to find answers, to work out my thoughts, to impress.
But when writing has found me, it’s because I don’t have answers. There is so much I don’t know, like what flowers feel when they’re nuzzled by pollen-drunk bumblebees. Imagine that. Do yellow crayons dream of sunshine and blue crayons of filling oceans? And how can I continue another second without knowing if whales write songs for each other, or if children’s teddy bears know they’re loved, or if stars know when they’re dying? Do they? Can stars feel their fires going out? And the more I think about it, the more I can imagine growing colder, and the space around dimming until the back fence, back yard, back porch of my solar system is dark, and it’s like falling asleep in the end, like closing my eyes falling back into the timeless waters of space as many did before me and many will after.
And I couldn’t have lived that without writing. The shape of my voice swells in the gaps of my ignorance, coloring in what I don’t know with what I can feel. In my ignorance, there are oceans and forests, and yes, starry skies full of dying stars, and I don’t have to understand any of it to be bewitched by the color swirls in oil spills.