Saturday, September 24, 2011
Today I broke the seal of a bottle of ink. I have had that ink for almost a decade now, I think. I ordered it as part of a fountain pen set. I have started writing by hand again, putting pen in ink and then on paper. I have revisited my old journals and have learned much just from skimming through pages and pictures. I swear I almost heard a voice of my old self whisper to me: "I thought you were never coming back." Well I thought I never would, too. But the itch on the tip of my fingers never really went away and the words kept on dripping and overflowing everywhere in my head.
I miss my old writing books, especially Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron's The Right to Write. I also had On Writing Well by William Zinsser. There was also Stephen King's On Writing, and a host of others that I can only remember by what they had taught me. Years ago I sold them all in a fit of frenzied attempt to transform into something else, someone less dreamy perhaps. Someone who looked reality in the eye and made friends with it in a no-nonsense way. Someone who was practical enough to say that books that have been read are only taking up space and the money gained from selling them could help pay the bills. I took the idea of living simply to an extreme. I pared down my life so close that the skin stung when wet.
I thought that was enough. To survive on essentials. To just go through each day and be thankful. I reduced my writing to phrases and bullets and catchy copywriting. Everything became functional and rational. The last few times, a few years ago, that I wrote poetry my Muses were sputtering from disuse. They were rusty and their voices croaked. I myself was fading. I had become a ghost of my self.
But today I opened a fresh bottle of ink.