Write me a River

I am a writer it seems. No fanfare. I was literally dealt that (life purpose) card five days ago. Having searched for my dharma I now firmly know. It’s a strange, sequence of signposts but finally it makes sense. I’m not that clever cauliflower kind of writer and I’m not talking about “what do you want to be when you grow up” superficial, identity-giving, business card bullshit stuff. I’m not ordaining myself as an illuminati, a pierced travel blogger, a jumped up literature prizewinning persona or an author of history changing prose. This is something deeper and weirder, a real realisation, as they (who?) say. It’s something I am, deep inside of me.

Like a drug addict probing with a needle to find a fat, juicy blue worm vein. I have been stabbing and missing for so long. This time I have managed to prick the skin and tap into this life-force energy and I must learn to tame the wildness of a charged hit that is penetrating deeply. Now my blood runs free-flowing, rich, red and violent it spurts and jets as I tap into the freedom of my deeper self. La que saba, the one who knows. My fears have had me tasered, frozen, unable to act. I hope I’m melting. My million thoughts a minute have been mocked as something to be suppressed. My rotting musings have been polluting my every pore.

I am a storyteller, an avid watcher of people and describer of things. In English lessons I would write stories with fantastical imagination but we learnt to worship Shakespeare instead. I remember a competitive urge lamenting, “I could do that” “he’s not that great” “ yes, his words are salty, peanut butter crunchy but I don’t even like peanut butter I prefer soft, sweet and smooth Nutella”. A brat like instinct enveloped my inner-voice, a demonic chatter that incessantly mocked me, mocked Shakespeare, mocked everyone really, inwardly lashing out violently at everything. My heart pounding, banging fists against the door of my rib cage not being allowed out, it was trapped in its bony cage of consciousness. Although what did I verbalise? The “right”-eous response, the kind that is a nod and a sweet agreement with the literary librarian with nibbled nails that feared her own greatness and hid behind correct grammar. It’s true and it’s truth that I have things I want to say. It may not come out right.

Writing for me is like a spot on that overly sensitive teenage skin, ripe for the squeezing. An angry red, swelling volcano, sore with a full bubble-head of milky-white puss that disgusts everyone (especially me). A satisfying explosion as the energy pushes agressively through the shiny membrane of my hormonal, polished jawline. It needs to manifest and be expressed, however repulsive the process. The moist puss touched with a dirty finger turns to red blood patting – evidence of the aftermath of release of angst and built up toxins. Once squeezed it is purged, it exists no longer. It may leave a wound to heal and possibly a small scar but it has ceased to be until the next lump emerges under the porcelain surface, which will also need to be addressed. The thing is these blemishes can’t be ignored, the acne spoils the perfection, and these boils of poison will always emerge so I must use words to pop the pustule before it can infect my Self. It’s bubble-wrap soul searching without the satisfying pop sound effect.

I have always written until there was no blood left, there was no potent life-juice, just a wrung out corpse, a void of confusion, contorted thoughts of angst and “what next” considerations, I was spent. You see (because I don’t) I don’t know what to do with it, how can I channel these thoughts, these ideas, and these words into something neat, packaged and useful? Well I couldn’t so I haven’t, I didn’t and I can’t or I won’t but maybe now I should, I can and I will. My higher power has sent me plenty of breadcrumbs – an intriguing wizard friend who is both angel and devil and a messenger with a comedy cattle prod fork, jolting electric advice into my lifeless body with a rousing Richard the third, creative commentary on my life. David a creative writer in Sydney both brilliant and dark, you decide – my muse and qualifier. David – the star of David (that which my mum wore as a gifted shackle around her slim neck, that I now own) gifted by my deceased father of the same name. The Star of David, that guided the “wise” men so clearly to the son of man, that divine energy manifesting on earth in a small, humble, stable scene. Chapter two: a divorce-stricken wench, sobbing through an online writing retreat in a wilderness of woe, to a soundtrack of Vampire Weekend. Punctuated with a loss of self, hidden under a thin veil of a hot, tin roof with no Wi-Fi and cookie-eating kangaroos. There was a primal fire that I learnt to build and stoke and wild horse riding adventures to allow the flow of hot, salty, solitary tears to flow. I have an Apache wolf puppy and an amethyst necklace gifted from an inner goddess to help feel the pulsating vibration of my wild woman heartbeat. This primal scream versus the Victorian values of a father who preferred a daughter to have a vocation of value not an arty-farty floaty, fairy, fuck up kind of job. His fears were fair enough, he paid for my education in hard earned cash, my parents sacrificed so that I could have a different kind of life…blah, blah, suppressed creativity blah-dee-blah. I have to take responsibility I’m the one who has missed every signpost, every single, fucking one. It’s funny really, like I’m actually LOL at 32 in a Californian accent! I finally get it. The reason why I can drift into fantasy so easily, the addictions, the dark-drama and primitive danger this untapped aptitude creates is unsurprising. I wish I had all my stories from before, the ones I wrote in my darkest moments, they are the best, and they were great. Alas they are lost on the laptop of self-hate, of fear, friction, frustration and denial. They were trashed with many other tarnished things of worth that I chose to permanently delete – like my marriage or life-freedoms.

I remember the first time I suppressed my true self. I was writing poems in a blue lined exercise book, with a red margin. I was young, definitely under or around ten. My brother came into my room and I was both proud and embarrassed for him to read my work. He recited: “Butterfly you are so gay and free, you land on flower and tree, you spread your wings and then God brings peace eternally”. He snorted at the word “gay” and I felt my swelling pride sucked from my soul with a comedy slurping sound effect of a hot, stinging beverage on chapped lips. Like some kind of shaman sucking poisons from my brain, spitting them out before choking. From that moment I felt writing was something cringey, embarrassing and less than. I got upset; I cried (inside or out, I don’t remember) those who were supposed to love me misunderstood me and that’s a repeat pattern. So what now? What next, my restless mind needs answers. I can’t write nice poems or a novel, so what am I supposed to do? Bow and scrape to publishers telling them I’m humbly ready to write about toddler dribble topics they deem topical. I don’t have the focus or discipline to “train” my rampant muddy welly wearing toddler mind to “Conform…stop it, behave, stop jumping in puddles and running over the cream, carpeted staircase of my grown up head”. So what now? That’s not rhetorical, it’s a genuine question.

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3 thoughts on “Write me a River

  1. In response to your question: do exactly as you did here. Write. You have a gorgeously developed voice and reading this was a treat for the soul. Your diction and syntax are like brush strokes on a canvas. If you do nothing else in this life please keep blogging so I can selfishly read more. Fuck the publishers and everyone else whom you envision you must conform to. This was a work of art. I will defintely be following your writings and can’t wait to read more. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. That’s really kind of you to take the time to say such lovely things and support my writing journey. Hopefully my ego won’t run away with your positive comments and I’ll stay focused, keep things in balance and see what happens next. Thanks again, it’s very apt timing, a real stroke of serendipity.

      1. Well to pin that ego down in the future I’ll try to stay away from lavish praise and instead offer constructive feedback. You’re very welcome, I could sense that you needed some positive encouragement. Especially with such beautiful writing not being lauded. Whoops, there I go again pumping your ego up. Anyways, I look forward to your future writings. Be well.

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