It’s time to get something on paper. Noise and lint and beleaguered soul be damned. Inexplicably I think of kids’ games. Tug-of-war, see-saw, anything where there’s an opposing force, pushing and pulling; or a weight suddenly lifted, tossing me…off. I just want off. Off my butt. Off my brain. Then I see the artist in the morning cold, easel propped on a hillside overlooking the sea’s tumult, sitting with brush in hand, painting with his eyes. Without reserve or embellishment.


I fix the image in my head as I set to write. I consider showing up in the same way as the painter. Where it’s enough to give testament, to not make a thing up and start from scratch, but to simply witness and draw the lines. Carefully commit the sea spray to its perpetuity in a frame, the grays, the blues a beauty; even if it’s a mess of concrete edges and yelping seagulls. Not removing the discord, oh no; just letting it be.


But if I’m not the painter, then I’m — what? A woman tired and burned, holding the match to her face and not blowing it out. Hands spread like autumn branches, beckoning words and muses. A girl in a car with wind-tossed hair and desert eyes. A head on a pillow at 3AM, the furrow between the brow, a black hole, a bleeding sore, a glass tear in a bell jar, flattened grass, a tiger, the tiger’s cub.


Someone tired.


And above all and through it, I don’t know what to write.


Or maybe I do and that’s the problem.


Or maybe I don’t and that’s it.


The artist, the waves, the lines, the car, the tiger, the tear, the pillow, the blood.


The see-saw.


6 thoughts on “White

  1. Did you hear that?

    That exhale was intended to be fully audible through the cracks beneath your door.

    The same. In this very moment. We are the same.

  2. I’ve been staring at my screen all night waiting for the words to come. How can my head be so full of thoughts one day and completely devoid of them the next? I’m throwing in the towel and going to bed. Because, in my case, nothing is better than something. In your case, you did a great job making something from nothing. Sigh. Tomorrow is a new day. Full of thoughts I hope.

  3. I not only go through waves of thought abandonment, I often don’t consider my content, my thoughts, worthy or good enough. Sometimes I’m scared, sometimes I think too much, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. Unfortunately, it’s been happening more lately.

  4. SLAYED ME! I’m putting down Bird by Bird and just reading you.

    The pictures you paint with words are so vivid. They inspire me.

    And I’m in the same boat. Pretty picture, no story. (wait, did I just write my autobiography in 4 words? Holy shit…see what you did just there!!!!)

    It’ll come.

    And thanks for putting my head on straight. I started this thing to write and NOT to go through high school again.

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