I write to clean my heart. i write to clear my mind. i write to have a conversation with my swarming emotions that just buzz too loudly for me to make sense of them. I write like an anxious parent pacing back and forth in the hospital waiting room . I write like an absentminded student chewing on the top of the pencil. I write like a dressmaker verifying the body measurements of the client.
I don’t write all the time. Mostly I let emotions well up while I try my best to give them free passage. Sometimes I crack and retreat to my mental caverns where I dissociate. I try to not be harsh on myself when that happens. I often fight the urge to speed up the process, to just stick my hand in and grab all the yarn I can and just pull pull pull. My teenage years and early 20s were lost in the rabbit holes of my unconscious, and I stored all these yearnings of lost dreams and milestones like tivoing my dreams or queuing up life experiences.
My emotions come in either intense short bursts, or milder waves. When the wave has all but receded, I start to soak in my senses around this. I start to process what I’ve experienced, if it was a flashback or a reaction to a thought that had slipped me by. That’s when I start to thread the emotions through words, slowly, meticulously, intuitively. Some threads take weeks, months, years even to complete. Some threads are trains of different waves of emotions that somehow have a cohesive meaning.
I have webs of these threads that run the entire length of my being. It’s only when I take a step back to view my finished handiwork that I realize that there are parts of me that have never seen the inside of another’s mind. How do I know that something is real and not a dream if I can’t experience my thoughts bouncing off another person?
I can’t talk to people about most of what I experience inside because I’m afraid they’d get lost, like I have. Or I’m afraid I’d bore them out with my mechanical thought processes that are quite compulsive in the way I’ve filed them away and made sure I know where each starts, leaving no loose ends. I can’t bear to have my self-doubt confirmed through the thoughts of another. Even if they don’t speak it, I can hear it in their moment of silence as they search for the ‘right’ words to say, I can see it in their flickering look, I can see it in the furrow of their brows.
So I write. I write like a newly married military wife writes handwritten letters daily to her deployed husband to keep the fear of him never returning at bay. I write like a stranded seafarer wishes on a star. I write like a door ajar inviting passersby.
I’m going to continue to write like a nostalgic heartbroken lover sitting on lonely dock watching the waves roll away to the beckoning of the fading sun, just like my life.