you must be taught by your story

Everything can be a part of your becoming, if only you would allow it… I tell myself this as I sit at the computer, my face whitened by the empty page.

I type and delete, type and delete.

You don’t have to abandon those stories at the side of the road, the stories of running in between patches of late winter ice, the nights in crowds with loud music and unnecessary Guinness, and the waitress who had cowboy boots like yours, and the questions that leave a person making promises to the stars that aren’t really listening.

I type, and delete.

You can write your way into meaningfulness, tell your wonder and fear in characters who find themselves inside the clean glass of the hip bar on Dartmouth Street, discovering the hole in their jeans at the crease of their left knee, drinking something with gin and a sprig of rosemary in it. You can write the character as someone who wishes they knew why rosemary did anything to gin, but they don’t, and when they look out the window and realize they put their sweater on inside out, it is a realization of how far they have yet to go.

I type, and delete.

You can’t always write the stories that are at the forefront of your mind. You can’t always sit on the dusty floorboards with your pen and make something beautiful out of what is happening around you. It doesn’t make the stories untrue. It doesn’t make you less of a writer. It doesn’t mean you won’t someday celebrate the book’s birthday.

I type, and delete.

And the winds, and the spaces, and what was that phrase?
O, Zarathustra, you are not yet ripe for your fruit. The story is inside you, but you are not ready to write it.
The story belongs to you, but it is bigger than you. It hasn’t asked to be written.
The story is still in the winds,
in the spaces,
in between changing the sheets on your bed as the cold air leaks into the room
in between poetry, and the silence that comes after.

The story, the one that is not this one, is still too vast to be held in a small vase of words. It is the field, and you are the seedling.

I type, and then – I hear –

Sometimes you have to be taught by your story before you can write it. 

I am a student again.



2 thoughts on “you must be taught by your story

  1. One of my greatest fears is not being able to write about something because life goes on and I forget. My brain is so full of wonder and thoughts and crazyness all the time, I fear I will never be able to produce anything worthy from the mess. But maybe it’s okay. “The story belongs to you, but it is bigger than you. It hasn’t asked to be written.”
    Thank you. I needed this so much.

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