Why do writers do things “for the story”? When tragedy hits us, or when something wonderful happens, we are so aware of the brevity of time that the only way to memorialize the moment truly is to write about it. Not for anyone else, but for the sake of that moment and what it created in us, however briefly. We aren’t used to things staying the same, and when they do we start looking for the stories, for the changes, and if they aren’t there we feel like we need to make them ourselves.
I am most honest in a bathtub,
watching water rise.
Give me the open window,
bleached tile, seclusion,
Each time I step out strong, clean
down to the molecule,
I have remembered I am
only one body.
Mr. Angelou received nightly
a hot dinner, a kiss, and 7 hours worth
of writing to proof-read before bed
in the motel room of the week:
as thanks, perhaps, or simply
out of love.
Proof that out of love is better than in,
at least with uncaged birds.
Honoré de Balzac wrote
14 hours a day in what he called
He still had time between
for 7 hours of sleep,
a bath, a nap,
fifty cups of coffee
I’d try that routine if I could, but
I only drink tea.
It was possible something minutely divine was at play, in the vein of spying the last ripe avocado, or ripping the tag off a new shirt. Life just seemed a little better for the sinfulness. A message here or there, a provocative dream, a craving late at night when they were each alone. If only they knew what was a beginning and what was a detour.
Tonight I worry that the future is too wide and we are too small; it absorbs us in a flash and we are gone, consumed… and the future yawns on and on.
Last night I worried about guardian angels. Are they ever disappointed in us? Why do they stick around? What if they don’t get to choose who they are guarding; maybe if we don’t connect with them they disappear.