A Paragraph on Writing

*This post originally appeared at my (TW) Tumblr on 04 April 2014. 

Writing is waking up alone on the hard floor of a dark house you’ve never been in.  Even though you can’t see a thing, you can feel that you’re in a house; the vibe is in the air. You decide to hunt for light. As you wander through the room, your head brushes past a lightbulb dangling from a chain in the dark. You reach for a way to turn on the light, but you don’t find one. You feel around the room, run your hand over the walls, and finally, you find a light switch. You flick on the switch but nothing happens: the bulb is out. So, you have to feel around all of the other rooms and all of the cabinets in the house to find one. The room you’re in is the only one with a light switch; you try to find it in other rooms, but you don’t; there are no bulbs dangling from the ceiling. You accept the darkness and get on with finding a lightbulb. You feel and touch and eventually find where the bulbs are kept: some really odd place, behind the dog food in the bathroom closet. Then you find your way back to the room in which you began. You know the way because you’ve felt it out in the dark. When you return to the bulb dangling from the chain, you grip the old bulb too hard and it shatters in your hand. By this point, you’re so tired of being in the dark that you grab the shattered bulb and the broken glass cuts your hand but you twist anyhow and out pops the old bulb and in goes the new. You see the room and now, because of the light in that one room, you can see the outline of other rooms, and all of the other rooms that at first didn’t have light switches now have light switches and broken bulbs dangling from chains and because you went through the first bulb-hunt at least now you know that the bulbs are behind the dog food in the bathroom closet. So, you go room to room, switching on lights and replacing bulbs until finally, the house is illuminated. You see that the house is in need of repair–but at least the foundation is solid–so you set to work painting and filling in holes in the walls and re-doing the flooring and your cut hand aches and you have to change bandages but you keep going until finally you’re done and you see that you’ve built your dream house out of the darkness. And then you put a “for sale” sign in front of your dream house, massage your scarred hand, and wake up alone on the floor of another dark house, ready to begin again.

– TW 24 April 2014