Monday, November 13, 2017

The Stories Behind the Page ~ My Greatest Gift


 There is nothing to writing. You sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
~Ernest Hemingway


 You know, waiting for inspiration to strike as you sit at a keyboard sometimes feels like waiting for that first crocus to appear, when it is yet winter. And you don't even know the exact spot when it's going to pop up. It's also like a game of whack-a-mole. Pop! BANG! Missed. Lost that thought. What an exercise in torture and mockery at your own skills. I mean, you've been doing it for over ten years...nearly twenty. You'd think it'd be easier by now! Strike with precision!

  But no. Writing--putting down words--that can be easy. Anyone can write crap. Even half-decent crap. Might even get a few laughs out of it. But true inspiration? That pure moment when the words are golden--the essence is pure--and that message fills the page in a way that is so personal and has a backstory all its own? It's as rare as a mermaid. Whether or not they exist is still up for debate. I vote they exist. Let me have my fantasies.

  Writing is one of the best gifts God has given me. That and gardening. And books. And coffee. Okay, back to being serious. Through the most grueling times of my life, writing and gardening has been a balm to my soul. A sweet escape. Even when I can't get the words down. Even when the pain is too great, and I can't fathom sitting down at the keyboard and willing myself to work. I'd rather be in bed, trying to forget my pain. Trying to rationalize life.

  And yet again, no. Writing beckons. It's my calling. Words, and the natural world. They call. And with even word that is dropped, every one that is intended, even the ones that might fall away with future cuttings--they are seeds, with an evolution behind them. Writing is part of the genesis of the stories that fill a page. The days of a life, infuse a page. The rages, the intense joys--the discoveries, the deaths. The storms that rage in the soul. Every letter is a child borne from them. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I will labor, to find that ounce of joy. I will get up, and set aside my pain, and my distractions, heaven help me.

  Because when I die, all these stories, these letters, these sentences...they will remain. The time will not be wasted. Thank God, I have this gift. Thank God, that I have the chance to touch people, whether while I'm alive or long dead. Thank God for the stories of my life, that fill a meager page. Perhaps I will make everything worth it.


  ~Elora Carmen Shore


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