What Would Happen?
At a certain point I have to stop reading all these “how-to” books and just start writing. I can feel my teeth clench against this realization. My bottom teeth put pressure on my top teeth and now my tongue is jammed up against the roof of my mouth. Keeping those words in. My face feels long, serious. My neck is tight, my arm is pressing against my side, my fingers grip my pen in order to control what is coming out. My penmanship must be perfect and so must my words. I must keep it safe, not explore any place that could harm, hurt, surprise, shock, or anger others. Keep it neat and tidy, prim and proper. Don’t show the rough edges, the darkness lurking just under the surface. That will only cause trouble and good girls don’t cause trouble. Now the pen moves on its own, the writing becomes sloppier, untamed. The penmanship is larger, more fluid, not so tight and perfect. The hand feels more open, more words can flow through. It feels a little scary to let the words run on their own. The critic wants to step in, stop everything, return to the usual order of things, but the wild artist appreciates being let out, being allowed to roam the page and shriek and shout and do cartwheels. What if I broke out of the lines? What if I just leaped wrote over here
and over there
didn’t follow any rules
What would happen?
Nothing at all but the release of my soul.