that warm thing that happens in the brain (when I write)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

When I teach I leave the writing of books behind. No room for both in my life. No room for both in my head.

Two days ago, then, with my teaching complete at Penn, I returned to a novel I'd left hanging at 250 pages long. A book of something very new, perhaps something very strange. I am afraid of this book. I am in love with this book. I can only ever see a page or two ahead.

And so there it was, on my iPad, looking up at me. Daring me. Enter in. Tremulous was my mood. Hopeful was my outlook. Quiet was the sound in the house.

Not a single client called.

I read. I sat. I stared. I wrote a page, a single page, that's as far as I could take it for a spell. One more page.

Enough. Proof enough that I could carry this strange thing forward. A reminder of how it feels to write—how my head turns a different temperature and my pulse slows and my heart goes hush and I am deeper inside my own self than I ever otherwise am.

I write, as I have always said, because writing is medicinal, physiological, unguarded, always true. I write because it is the closest I ever come to understanding myself.


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