Writing is one of my first loves. I am never able to choose which of my ‘first loves’ comes as a true first. Little has changed from the wants of my childhood. I sing. I perform in theater. I am a passionate animal lover. I am every dog’s best friend. An adventurer. A solo traveler. A spiritual seeker. I am a hungry foodie; I have an unworldly appetite and I often say that I only have friends because people like to hang around to watch me eat. I am obsessed with garlic and spices and coconut milk. I am a homebody who is protective of family. I am also a mermaid. When I fall in love, I fall in love. I am a fan of love. Of loving. Of making love. Of being swept off my muddied, dancing fins. I will take the opportunity any day to make new additions to the big loves of my life. I recently learned how to knit and started a faithful yoga practice. But writing… writing will always be way up there. Words. Without question. It is my peace. My joyful loneliness. One of the most skilled expressions of my heart.
I should write more. That’s what a writer who doesn’t write – who loves writing, who has the obvious skill for writing, who has been acknowledged many times for having the gift for writing, who has won awards, who can write something satisfying in one sit, who has a constant love affair with words in her head – tells oneself. It is not so often that one acts on what one tells oneself. Especially when it’s one lazy writer.
But here I am, leaping out from my journals and into the world. A blog site all to myself – personal domain and hosting purchased and all! I even called the customer hotline for basic website building lessons last night. How fancy, you get your own secretary. I thought that’s what you keep your gadget-y friends around for, but finally decided to give them a rest and dared discuss my project with a random stranger. Imagine, talking to a customer support dude to be able to write my words patiently waiting in the darkness of the universal unwritten abyss. Strange thing. So, why am I doing it? And why now?
In the beginning, I thought it was because I finally felt that I have a whole lot of meaningful and relevant things to say that are worth sharing. I have always been one to yearn for close connections, deep connections. Words give me that, and I don’t desire to just throw them out the window where our withdrawn world waits without time or interest. My writing has always been a personal escape. Poetry. My intimate relationship – a threesome – with the escapable world and my inescapable head. Romance. Words have always come easily as long as they didn’t have to be formed through my mouth and my lungs and my vocal chords, a trinity mostly used for the better purposes of my love for singing and performing. My written words make no desire for immediate commitments. They are all looking for a quick fling in the night, for infatuation. Just make believe, just stories, just poetic perspective. I have published works, but they go through editing, go by the rules of demands and deadlines. They bargain with time and space. The trains don’t just fly over the Grand Central.
Let’s go back to my lungs, why don’t we. I’ve recently learned to use it better. Awareness. Attention. Consciousness through quality of breath. I have recently learned meditation. This is to say that I feel that I am currently in the midst of the most revelatory and revolutionary stage of my life. And this is why, in the beginning, I thought of finally coming out of the closet with my words, my thoughts, the experiences and life lessons that are piling up between all the spaces in my brain and flowing in my bloodstream as I do all my breathing exercises. In this modern world with its piles of chaos, garbage, noise, stress, and mental health issues – I have something – many things – I would like to say. And I think they just might be worth sharing, and could maybe start working for fresher air outside the window.
That’s why I began.
What about now, though? That was all in the beginning. Now is different, of course. Beginnings are lifetimes away from right now. Now is always a different place.
I realize now that now I am here because there is an empty page.
If I truly love words, I must learn to love empty pages. Yes, include that in the list, my big love for empty pages. I want to face empty pages every day and empty myself out on them. I want to teach myself to fall in love with emptiness. We live in a world wherein success is about being full. Full at every counter of our lives – our bank accounts, our calendars, our social media accounts, our noise and opinions, our oversized dinner plates and closets and grocery lists. Full in our heads.
One must always empty oneself to be able to begin again. And we must always strive to begin again. With every day. With every breath. We were taught that to look at the cup half full, and not half empty, is to look at life with hope and optimism. But it should not be about pouring ourselves forth into fullness and keeping ourselves away from emptiness. I have recently come to learn that the hope is in never finding the cup full. The hope lies in the opportunity and the practice of constantly filling it up, from emptiness.
Anything can happen with writing. I have no idea what a blank page could possibly bring. No idea. With performing, you get hints. You know what song you’re going to sing and what part you’re set to play. The moment of performance is still magic, but you already have the stardust in your different pockets. With writing, you have no clue where the hell the stardust is sold. Anything can happen on the empty page. ANYTHING.
That’s what life is, isn’t it? Anything can and will happen.
Seek the empty pages and keep filling that cup. At least that’s where I’ll begin.