JB

he seems just a mere whisper in the night
a ghostly wraith
i could put my hand right through,
but no,
he’s really there, breathing,
standing unsteadily in the dark cool,
the light of the streetlamp
glinting off his head where hair used to be.

how long, how long will we have you?
days? hours? or perhaps just minutes.
you are barely there
i would put my arms around you
but for fear of breaking you.
you laugh and you smile
as if you are not in the act of disappearing
as if you are not in pain.

look at this long bold man
who forged his path
his own way
doggedly gripping this life even as he
ebbs into a world beyond —
what is it that we are? how is it that we stand
in this place of in-between together?
why must we suffer this collision?

even now,
look at you in the bright heat of the oven, 
hammering, crafting on the anvil
the only thing that means anything
at all.
and just look at this beautiful and cherished thing
you make in the midst of the
incomprehensible.

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just thinking

I do a lot of thinking. A whole lot of thinking.

Thinking is a critical part of writing. Right from the get-go you have to think about what it is you’re going to write.

Then you have to think about how you want to write the thing, and how you’re going to research it. If you’re researching for your writing, then you have to think about your research. And there’s generally research of some flavor.

I guess it’s quite similar to being a scientist, right?

And then, finally, you get to the actual writing part, in which you find yourself, surprise!, thinking. As in you have to think about how the words go together, and whether you’re using the right words. You have to search for the ones that perfectly convey your intent. Then there’s structure, and grammar, and punctuation, and formatting to think about.

But for all that, sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the thinking I do. As if I’m wasting time. It feels very self-indulgent, not allowed on some level. It is often difficult to give myself permission. In fact, the whole process feels forbidden.

And yet, writing is a little like breathing for me. It’s essential.

And truthfully, it is worthy. Writing changes the world.

It might impact a fleeting moment, or it might alter the course of history. It might touch one person or many. It might make someone laugh, or finally understand something, or help them put their new shelving together, or simply escape for awhile. It might launch a business, sway an election, or reshape society’s path. Even when no one else reads the words, writing has the capacity to change things. 

Whatever the scope turns out to be, it matters.

So, don’t mind me, but I have a little thinking to do.

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