I went home for the holidays, and saw old friends. Old friends seem to be a theme right now, because they’re popping up everywhere that I go. “Oh, hello, I knew you…once. How wonderful to see you again!”
It is a pleasure, truly. I realize that my children will not have the same opportunities for Old Friends that I had. Growing up in the same town with the same people year in and year out…well, it’s a gift that my kids won’t have. We have a tendency to bounce, because life is short, and we can be happy (almost) anywhere, and moving means freedom. But an Old Friend asked me if I was still writing, and how that was going, and she asked an interesting question.
“Why do you write, exactly?”
That is a fair question, although I’m not really certain if there’s a clear-cut answer. I could have responded, “Why do you breathe?” or “What compels you to drink water?” It’s like children, when they stretch out their legs and run when there’s enough space. It’s like walking into a room and throwing your coat down instead of holding it. Writing is just necessary. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to, not really. Sure, there were years of long pauses where something was off, and I realized it but couldn’t quite place the source of the problem. Half written stories and bad poems scrawled on the back of envelopes. When I’m not writing, I’m not fully myself. You only get half of me, and it’s a plodding, unhappy half. This is, in a sense, what I chose to tell her.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I suppose I write to make myself happy.”
Good enough, yes?
Pieces out: 35
Goal: RSG and 40