Why I Write

Posted by on Mar 1, 2012

I don’t want to die yet, so I keep breathing however unconsciously.  I want to learn, process, integrate, then teach what I know.  I write, therefore, to understand first, as part of passing it on.  Writing is like chewing my food before swallowing.

“Don’t die with the music unplayed inside you.”  I wonder always about the book my mother never wrote. I have copies of her correspondence.  It has to suffice.  Her mind was as finely honed as my German steel carving knives that cut through anything as if it were butter.  I would love to immerse myself into it now, years after her death and experience the feel of it again, like the warm flannel of her famous bed sheets worn smooth from thousands of washings.  She asked such probing questions She asked such probing questions… She always said she would write a book.  She never did. I don’t want to be like that.

I write so I can read and think about things that would otherwise go by without scrutiny or considered judgment.

I write because my first thoughts are not always my best thoughts, but like well planted seeds watered and gently tended, they produce beauty or nourishment for body and soul with judicious pruning, well worth the wait.  Sometimes.  As with wines, some years are better than others.  Each year is worth harvesting and tasting, or at least storing for future selection.

I write because I can’t stop myself.
I write because I’m searching.
I write because I want to pass along something of myself, however vain that may be, like hieroglyphics in rocks.

My teacher’s heart is wired to transfer and shape knowledge.  My analytical brain drools at the possibilities of word combinations, scene set ups and apt metaphor.  It loves the written word on a page and delights in lingering at deliciously sensitive places to titillate and coax a reader to the edge of suspense, dallying slowly for the steady build to explosive collaboration.

The power of a thought well placed within a moment of time, with enough space to let it breathe, is intoxicating.

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