On Writing

Writing is the most incomprehensible, though fundamental, thing that I do. It is second nature to recreate situations and emotions (the actual) into stories (the image). Every happy hour begins with this, every conversation–this is how we communicate, how we record and retell our collective histories, how we make sense of our realities.  And yet it seems so mysterious. All of my other hobbies make sense: flour and yeast are transmuted into bread, yarn becomes a sweater–changes, yes, but measurable ones.

Writing seems fundamentally different, like an actual creation.

Out of nothing, nothing visible, anyway, comes a precisely realized antique book or the corner pub with sticky circles on the tables or a chance meeting that shapes a life. And then it’s there, imperfectly portrayed, perhaps, but there, as real as the mug of steaming coffee next to the keyboard.

Today, the sacrifice of that last hour of sleep seems totally worth it. It merely calls for the easy choice of exchanging something enjoyed for something loved. (And in a perfect world, I’ll remember this awestruck feeling tomorrow morning when the first alarm goes off.)

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