Monday, January 16, 2012
Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to write.
From the time she could pick up a pencil with her chubby little fingers, she wrote. She learned to read at an early age, and discovered that while stories were fun to read, it was even more fun to write them. So she wrote stories, about orphaned children and puppies and fairies, and she wrote other things, too. When she was in the second grade, she and her best friend wrote a play about Easter bunnies, and in the sixth grade, she wrote one in honor of her country's bicentennial. There were parts in the play for everyone in the class, and her teacher told her she was good at type-casting. She didn't know what that meant.
As she got older she wrote poems, mostly about clouds, and stars, and boys, and sex, but sometimes they were about important things, like Feelings. Sometimes they rhymed but mostly they didn't, because rhyming was lame and everybody knows that violets are purple, not blue.
She, of course, wrote in a journal, which was called a diary back then. But she stopped that when she was 20 and her mom read it and found out more than any mother needs to know. She never really got over that.
Well, that girl, she wrote and she wrote and she wrote some more. She liked to do it and convinced herself she was good at, even though she maybe wasn't that great. Or maybe she convinced that she liked it, because she really was good at it. Doesn't matter either way. What matters is that she wrote, and it felt good, and necessary, like breathing.
Then the girl grew up. She grew and she grew and she grew. She grew up so much that she had girls of her own, and boys too. Before she knew it she had grown so much that she was a grandma, with a full time job and no money to spend on fun things. She still wrote, but now she got paid to do it, which meant she had to write when other people told her to, about things they wanted her to write about. She was happy, mostly. At least she pretended to be. But she missed being that girl who wrote.
She never wrote stories, or plays, or poems. Once she wrote some haiku on Facebook, but that doesn't count. She never wrote about boys, even though she really wanted to, because she still didn't understand them. And saddest of all, she didn't write about important things, like Feelings.
She wrote so little of what was in her heart that she even stopped talking, too. It was as if her voice got small, smaller and smaller as she grew bigger and bigger. It was as if she had so much to say that she might burst, but she just couldn't speak.
She had lost her voice.
Sometimes, that girl cried a little bit, but only when no one could hear her. She didn't write about it and she didn't tell a soul, not even herself, because if she did she just might be tempted to write about it; to write about It. And she just couldn't so she kept it all hush hush.
And that's why you don't hear from her anymore; she stopped and because you can never go back, never go back to the Not Knowing, she may never have another word with you again.
But maybe someone, or something, will force a pencil into her chubby hands, and tell her it's OK to write about boys, and Feelings, and they'll promise not to laugh, and they won't read her diary when no one's looking. Then it might be safe again.
Then again, if it was safe it wouldn't matter, and she wouldn't be drawn to it like a moth to a white hot light.
So that girl thought about writing, and one day she wrote something, something silly and more than a little scary, because it was true.
And that girl, she may or may not live happily ever after.
Posted by Cathy Adamkiewicz at 2:20 PM