I sit on my porch, looking out at the ancient Smoky Mountains rising bold and important, I think about my solitary nature, and recognize my contradiction. For when I write, don’t I turn myself inside out? Don’t I release the demons? Don’t I give you my guts on a platter? Yes, for you, Dear Readers, I slice open my skin, show you my innards, allow you to see what is hidden. No matter if I believe I do not allow people to know who I am, no matter that I huddle on my Maggie Valley Mountain Cove to hide from the human elements, wallowing happily in nature elements, no matter at all. For my words reveal the truths.
Inside out, I show you my heart beating beating beating. I show you how strong and smooth my bones are, how heavy and substantial my skeleton makes me. I show you the blood that races fast and hot through tough and capable veins. I am real. I say to you, “This is who I am. Read me.” I divulge secret bits and pieces in the characters of my stories and pitiful poetry, and I blatantly reveal myself as myself in essay.
Did you know that every word, sentence, paragraph, page that I craft is for you, Dear Ones? Did you know that the words I create are in the hope you will read me, and in reading me, get to know me, and in knowing me, maybe you will love me? Writers can be needy, and writers can be selfish, and writers can be self-indulgent, but how this writer is can’t be measured by how much I sit alone, for it is only through you and your reaction to my words that I measure my worth. Perhaps you do not want such a heavy burden, but I place it on your shoulders anyway, again and again.
If you meet my outside shell, you may not recognize me from my words. I will stand back in a corner of the room and watch you, listen to you, gauge you, figure you out, peel back your skin and skull and see how you are made, use you as fodder for my work. If you approach me for conversation, I become fidgety.
You say, “I am conversing with you, human to human, eye to eye.” You are close enough to feel your words fall upon my face.
I shift from foot to foot. I stammer, “Um, I see. Yes, um.” I attach the “ums” because I am stalling, tensing, panicking. My face is warm. In my terror, words begin to erupt from the hollows of my belly, and I try to keep them down. Words back up against each other, filling my throat—all the things I think about, read about, wonder about, the things I see, the things I touch, all the things I don’t even know I’ve stored away—perhaps for some piece of writing, perhaps accidentally, perhaps because I am bored. My tongue begins to taste the words as they fill my mouth.
It is all for you that I write.
all photos are Kat Magendies except for the istock photo of magical book. This post was taken from archives.