A Woman, Thinking

Message in a Bottle

Words on WordsPoppy Lochridge
When I lately retired to my own house, with a resolution, as much as possibly I could, to avoid all manner of concern in affairs, and to spend in privacy and repose the little remainder of time I have to live, I fancied I could not more oblige my mind than to suffer it at full leisure to entertain and divert itself, which I now hoped it might henceforth do, as being by time become more settled and mature; but I find—that, quite contrary, it is like a horse that has broke from his rider, who voluntarily runs into a much more violent career than any horseman would put him to, and creates me so many chimaeras and fantastic monsters, one upon another, without order or design, that, the better at leisure to contemplate their strangeness and absurdity, I have begun to commit them to writing, hoping in time to make it ashamed of itself.
— Michel de Montaigne, "On Idleness"
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I write because I am human, and what distinguishes us from other animals is our ability to use written language to connect, to communicate, and to say “You are not alone.”

I write because sometimes life doesn’t make any damn sense, and if I set words down on paper, they become tiny building blocks, verbal Legos, building meaning out of chaos brick by brick.

I write because sometimes my true soul is lost in a lonely landscape, and only by writing my words down and sticking whole essays into bottles bouncing on the waves can I reach out and know that I am not alone.

I write because sometimes it is 2AM and the words are pounding on the inside of my skull like tribal drums. They demand I set them free, give them ink and paper and watch them dance.

I write to explore the landscapes inside my head, the connections between thoughts, the chimeras made by one idea bumping too hard into another. I write to explore these lands and the beasts that live within.

And when I feel like an automaton, just sleepwalking through life, I write because when I am too busy to write, I am too busy to invest my life with meaning. I do not sleep, I do not live, unless I am also creating meaning with my words.

I write because memory is frail, and ideas merely soap bubbles popping on the shards of reality. I write to capture soap bubbles, chain them together, and turn them into a powerful cable that can winch something new into existence.

And I write in honor of all the writers who have gone before, in their memory and by the light of their inspiration. The spark they have created simply will not die.

 

 

This piece was written for Jenna McGuiggan's Write Into the Heart of Your Story 2-week writing workshop.

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