Dear Adulteress Writer,
I just heard the news and I couldn’t help but write you. I’ve muted myself long enough and I cannot remain silent any longer and watch this happen to you too. That’s what all of this is, you know, something that is happening to you. As much as you think you are fighting it, you aren’t. All you do is let this happen – day after day – without so much as putting your hands in front of your face to stop the blows.
I know it’s a last-ditch effort and I know I’m being invasive AND abrasive – but you need to know the truth and I can’t not tell you. I’m sure by now you’ve convinced yourself that you’re just like everyone else, that your penchant for words is as idealistic and half-baked as the little girl who grew up saying she wants to “change the world.” But I want you – no need you – to know that it’s not. I need you to know that you are different.
Please. Don’t go through with the divorce.
All of this – this passive happening – is so much more than meets the eye– and if I have to be honest with you (simply because no one else will), I must then tell you this: Neither the physical act of writing nor your deep-brewed passion for the art of it all did this to you. There is no elusive factor that is missing from your diagnostics, no insufficiency holding you captive and no oppressive force keeping your words trapped inside your soul.
The evolution of you is happening – so, so much is happening – and you have no idea how to process it all. So you run. And you hide. What once was a pleasantly native art to you is now a foreign act of discomfort. You can’t verbalize what’s going on because this happening has you by the throat. It pinches and it twists and it makes you gag until your eyes start to water. Every last muscle in your puny little body; your frail bones and your withering strength – they shove this love away. Deep down into the pits of what’s good and what’s gone. And like me, you’ve sat silent in fear for too long.
Please. Don’t go through with the divorce.
I know there are things that look sweeter; easier, less time-consuming and effortlessly perfect. Maybe painting. Or cooking. Or running. (I bet you think you could be a really fast runner if you changed all those writing sessions into runs.) Sweet soul, do not be deceived. I saw them, too. But I promise you this: What glimmers and glows in the radiant beams of that giant ball of fire – those too are cast over by shadows when the rainy season comes. There is not one surface on this great big earth that can escape the violent storms; not one particle of soil that has been eternally spared from a deluge.
Press on toward this love. Even if your eyes are stinging and you’re squinting to see the promise – it’s worth it. The work, though laborious and arduous, is always worth it. Perhaps that is your downfall – forgetting that it’s worth it. Get it in your head, okay? You’ll learn, like most things in life, that love is always worth it. And your love – this love, is no different. You must remember that it’s worth it.
Because some days, remembering that it’s worth it is all that keeps you going.
Because some days, you’re not going to want to write.
Some days, you’re going to feel like there’s not one syllable you could form that has not been formed better before you. You’ll feel like you’re unoriginal, inexperienced, unworthy and incapable of rolling a ballpoint pen across the empty lanes of a college-ruled highway. You’ll believe you’re not enough – and you’ll fall victim to the thought that the clicks of your fingers against the 26 faces of the alphabet create a cacophony of noise instead of a melody of fascination.
Before your feet even touch the cold hardwood floor – because as many times as your grandma insists, you simply cannot sleep with socks on – you’ll give up. You’ll pack it in, call it quits and throw your hands up in self-deprecating defeat – and it will happen hours before you even start. The day will go on – the coffee will be made, the bills will auto-draft out of your diminishing bank account, your gas light will come on and you’ll think, “Eh. I can make it to at least Thursday,” – and you’ll passively wash your hands of your passion. You’ll convince yourself it’s for 24 hours – a week, maybe– because you “just need a break” and “work has been so busy.”
Don’t let it go, dear.
Because one day, if you don’t treat it right, this love will leave you.
You’ll come home from work – late, again – on an idle Wednesday and you’ll push open the door with your elbow; hands full with junk mail, a leaking travel mug and a crumpled up sales presentation.
“Honey… sweetheart, are you home?”
You’ll set down your belongings, trail into the kitchen and look for traces of your love. “Sweetheart? Hell-oh?”
You’ll walk by the bungalow office on the way to your bedroom and get a whiff of the stale air that hides behind the sealed door. But then you’ll realize it isn’t sealed – that it’s cracked ever. so. slightly. – you’ll stop.
“Hello…? Where are you?”
Gently, careful not to open the door any more than you have to, you’ll squeeze in. As your spine brushes up against the doorframe and your head makes a dent into the stagnant air, you’ll see it. And for a split second that will seem like eternity, you’ll hold your breath. And then you’ll swallow hard.
In the intimate space where a refurbished librarian’s desk once stood: nothing. In the corner, where your grandfather’s coat rack stood like a giant next to the malleable armchair: nothing. The towering bookshelf. The cable knit rug. The replica Monet tiles in the hodge-podge frames. All of it. Gone.
You’ll run into your bedroom and grab a yellow legal pad and a pen and you will, like a crazy person, sprint back to that vacant office. On the floor, right where your desk chair once stood, you will sit, and you will face that window that you always gazed out when the words wouldn’t come – but they’d come, oh, love, they would always come. And you’ll gaze. For hours and hours and hours on end, you will gaze.
Nothing. Not one word will make the trip from your brain to your ears to your arm to your pen to your pad. Not. One. Word.
Please. Don’t go through with the divorce. Don’t give up. Don’t walk out. Push through and hang on – not for something better, but for the getting better. The grass is plenty green right where you’re writing. Turn back, okay? This love needs you as much as you need this love.
Fight for this love. Fight before it’s too late.
Better for staying
Photo: Creative Commons // Kristin Nador