When I was growing up, I always had a notebook to sketch down any thoughts I might have for a poem or story.
I would walk the fields of the farmstead, often taking in a sunset or an evening storm, trying to let the life and landscapes that surrounded me become my voice. I won’t lie, the exercise often satisfied my senses more than my literary aspirations. Writing has never come easily to me.
I rarely use pen and paper for the task of writing these days. Instead, my thoughts often go onto a computer screen.
I keep a couple of files where I place pieces of fact, fiction or a mixture of the two. I always hope they will reveal themselves to be something worthwhile. Sometimes, they evolve into a complete piece. Often, a paragraph will languish for months or even years with no obvious way for me to help it grow.
I would like to share one snippet that I’ve desperately wanted to breathe life into for a couple of years because I’m quite proud of it. I’ve attached various appendages to this brief sketch, but none of them fit quite right. If you’re a writer, I’m sure you can empathize with my frustration. I can’t shake the feeling that this is something I want to take somewhere, but when will that “where” filter out my brain and through my fingertips?
Bottle after bottle. Glass after glass.
Our laughs get louder. The hours pass.
You are a troublesome house, but I don’t want to leave.
I like the darkness of your corners, the silence of your staircase.
Yes, I know that in the attic, some ragged beast stirs. It’s a cruel reminder of loves lost and life deferred. But I’m happy to visit here all the same. The unease gives me pause. It makes me think about what could have been …
Now, where does it go from there? What could have been? …