why i write the way i do
Someone told me that those who write to relieve their emotions are not the real writers; someone else told me that inspiration lies outside; another one mentioned that being too much on your head will turn your writing remote. They all agree on the necessity of searching for an ethereal being, this muse-like figure that lies beyond.
I wonder if they understand the need drumming down my body and the way my words are an extension of everything that being consists of. There is nothing less remote than the inside. What lies “outside” is as much my own experience as the little thoughts that permeate my mind (did i buy milk/i like that flower/that lady smiles like my mom does) and it echoes inside of me as every little emotion that mars my days or brightens up my nights.
My writing is the amplification of me, but it is not selfish. My writing is the way I feel like I’m about to burst and then there is such peacefulness and I’m looking at that little kid holding their mother’s hand and I want to tell them how big is the world inside of them. My words are this mixture of being/seeing that is indissoluble — being there and being inside my own head.
And yes, sometimes I have to bring myself to write because it is too much, and my whole body needs to let something escape, even if it is only a couple of whispered verses, two phrases on the corner of a notebook. Sometimes I see a giant tree with yellowish leaves and I am sad sad sad, there is a stifling noise captured inside my throat and suddenly I am taking up a pen. What is this but the outside?
My muse lies inside of me because this is all I know. I am watching everything from inside and there are this secrets that not I’m not privy to myself, like why some smells suddenly make me dizzy and why my body trembles even when I’m trying so hard to make it stop and yes, it is terrifying. And it’s also all I have to perceive what lies beyond me — trying to explain something I don’t know is like walking the tightrope (only I have never walked one and all the lights are out).
And I am young and I still don’t know how it feels to grow old or how it feels to hold my child, but I can tell you how it feels when all walls are closing on you and you can’t breathe and maybe that is enough. Because then everything stops shrinking and starts expanding and someone looks at it and says “oh, I know this”. Only they have no walls, but they have this sinking sensation that drowns the light. And they give it words and I see myself and I am glad.
So when someone tells me the world outside is what should inspire me, I only feel my own beating heart and my body that trembles and the way I love falling leaves and I smile. I am outside and in.