A promising emptiness

I'm here tonight as if an obstinate magnet, pulled toward the light of an empty page like a moth that spots a beacon on a dark and stormy night. He flies toward it, hopeful, determined, in need.

I can hardly keep my eyes open and I'm already in bed, but unfortunately, today was another mostly-dreadful one. And so I am here. Flitting over the promising emptiness of a white expanse and an eager cursor. 

The page asks nothing, and it is infinitely patient. It is an open embrace that never tires. It doesn't tick or talk or melt down or whine. It doesn't judge or pressure. It accepts truths and lies, ugliness and beauty. It is not defensive or harsh or rude. It never glances subtly toward a clock or a phone. It asks nothing but offers everything. And so I am here. 

In front of this empty slate, I am never cold. I am not lonely. Or overwhelmed. Or exhausted. I pour onto the page that my littlest boy called me a jerk, that he kicked me, that I snapped and spent a decent amount of time crying on the kitchen floor because this week has been relentless and "jerk" was the last straw. In doing so, I release these things and can start to let them go. I come to a peace, of sorts, with the underbelly of this life that is mine. The parts that aren't pretty but are real, the parts I don't like but must handle, the parts that others don't often discuss but must surely experience too. And so I am here.

I also record the moments that light my heart on fire: the graceful way Jack received the news that our pug would be staying in Brooklyn; that amidst his tears, he first asked "Is Percy happy?"; and secondly, "How will I tell S? Can you help me, Mom?" (S is a friend who adores Percy and sometimes had him sleep over.) I can hold on to these twinklings with specificity and accuracy, integrating them more fully into memory and heart. 

When I write, my cat sits by me. Almost always. He purrs like a gentle motor, bathes himself, falls asleep, snores in a subtle, irresistible way. He lets me reach over and play with his little pink toe pads. They're like warm jelly beans. I think he likes when I write, think he likes the positive zen flow over and around us as a page fills. I do.

The page never suggests that I am too much. It doesn't blink when I rage to it, doesn't mind if I cry. It welcomes jokes and also deeply serious privacies. It is consistent and punctual, generous and reliable, even when little else seems to be. It is enlivening and comforting and the best tool for unearthing self-understanding and acceptance that I've discovered. And so I am here.
This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post, inspired by the prompt "Sometimes, I wonder about my writing. I keep on and on because..." This week's link-up is hosted by Kristi Campbell.

Thank you and why I write

I am overwhelmed, in the very best of ways, by the deluge of beautiful responses I've received since posting Do you know? last night. 

I will admit to a nervous hand clicking "save and publish," a shaky heart wondering how my words would be received.

What I hoped for was twofold: a refreshing sense of getting feelings off my chest and connection with you; perhaps you'd understand, know exactly what I meant, feel less alone. What I didn't expect were your generous notes of thanks and "Yes, me too!" and "This resonates so powerfully with me." 

Via text, email, the comments and even in person today, I have heard from you. You've told me that you felt a lump in your heart, your throat, behind your eyes as the tears welled. That you sat in silence and felt moved beyond expectation. That you feel what I've written is brave and eloquent and real. That you know and feel it all too.

What I want to say to you is thank you. 

I am not a trained writer, and rarely do I sit down with a plan. I sit down to write because I need to. It is a drive that comes from deep within. I can only explain it like that.

I write to understand, to question, to figure things out, to better know myself. I write to unearth and illuminate truth, to attempt to pull the masking veils from expectations -societal, personal- that are absurd, antiquated, harmful, unfair. 

I write to hold myself accountable. I write because I love words and stringing them together makes me soul sing.

I write to connect, to comfort, to bear witness to and to stand up for things. I write to laugh and to make you laugh. I write to record. I write to release.

And then y'all show up and make everything even better. I am humbled and thankful and full today. Thank you!