The laptop sits on my desk; the green light on the power adapter shines in the predawn light, indicating a fully charged machine. It calls to me, “please sit and visit for a while.” I resist the urge and drag myself to the kitchen for the morning routine of coffee and oatmeal making. Soon the sleeping house is awake with people rushing to work and school. Lunches made, dishes washed and homework found. After everyone leaves and the dust settles and I pull back my unruly hair, I sit in front of the silver computer with an apple on its hood. I open it and press the power button, the fan whirls as the laptop wakes up; it is the only sound in the still house.
I press the happy blue W floating near the bottom of my screen. It bounces as the program opens. The only thing on the Word document is a blinking cursor. It mocks me to begin – for it knows I have no idea what I am going to write. I watch it blink, and I wait. I place my fingers on the home row of the keyboard, bent at the knuckle and my thumbs resting on the space bar. Soon the chattering begins. My mind races through a to do list, of everything else I could be doing. Then my thoughts swing to the berating type of phrases, like “you call yourself a writer when you cannot form one sentence” or “you do not have it – whatever “it” you thought you had.” I remove my fingers from their position and lean back in my chair. Today might be one of those days where I just give into the thoughts, but I had one of those days yesterday and the day before, if I am not careful giving up might become a habit.
I close my eyes and toy with the idea of never putting myself through this again. I have a million other things I could do – things people would notice. No one would notice if I did not write another word for as long as I live. The struggle is real.
I force my eyes to open, and I reach for my headphones. After I have efficiently plugged my ears to the sound of the voices in my head with my music, I turn to the blank page. I line up my fingers again, and I wait with anticipation that something – anything will fall out of the air. I know it will come, I am open to it, and I wait. “Ask, and you shall receive” – so I ask.
And it comes and I let it flow through me. My fingers fly over the keyboard, and the words flow. I almost want to weep with the pure joy of it. A voice now can be heard, and it speaks to me. It is like having a conversation with a trusted friend. The friend listens intently to all the noise and waits for me to gather all those thoughts and lock them up. I put them in boxes with heavy lids, and I stack them in a corner. The friend points in the direction of a random thought running in circles and I chase it down. I wrestle with it and finally contain it in its box, and I slam the lid. I am exhausted. The friend allows me to catch my breath, and then we begin our conversation. At first, I do most of the talking, I finally have someone who will listen, but then I become quiet. If I am not quiet, I cannot hear what the friend has to say.
I have spent my lifetime wanting to be heard; when the very person who needed to hear me was myself. Writing allows me to hear what I have to say. And this has been my salvation.