July 20, 2012

A Writer's Curse

Have you ever heard someone say that outrageous and nonsensical phrase, “I like to write”; as if writing is enjoyable? Or God forbid someone declaring with embarrassing benightedness, “I love writing.” What foolishness and certain monstrosity has overwhelmed such a person? Can I get a witness?!

Writing is that grotesque, zombie-like state of paralysis, or better, that exhausting mental moil engaged when only under the cruel pressure of a tyrant, someone who's been emptied of heart and soul.

Someone once said that a writer is one for whom writing is difficult. Yes, well, this is the bright-side of things, the nice way of putting it. For me, writing is an impossibility. It is asking for what one does not have; taxes from the broke, time from the CEO, openness from the fundamentalist. Alas, it asks; no, demands!

I am one for whom writing is difficult (actually, truly, it is a pain in the ass! A true thorn in the side). Does that make me a writer? I don’t know, who cares! Being a writer isn’t a light-hearted journey into a profound vocation, existential satisfaction or deeper psychological ease. No! It’s toil, torture and strife. It’s the luck of the draw, the lot I’ve been given. I am its slave, and its yoke is heavy and burden rude.

I write not because I am desirous for its fruit, but because I am told to, I must. The pen has chosen me. I, like Adam, have been cast out and must work--though wielding a different instrument. Adam, with blood, sweat and tears, ripped open the earth to make the ground produce that which would nourish him. I, with tears, sweat and blood, rip open my heart and mind to enflesh my thoughts in words, which turn out to be the very nutrients and sustenance my slavedriver feed. Adam was, and I am, trapped.

Adam’s existence was its own curse. The longer he worked meant the longer he ate and stayed alive meant the longer he would regret and live in that aching aftermath. In other words, his pain and toil only furthered his curse. So it is for anyone seized by the pen. God be with us!