I started writing because there were stories inside of me that needed to get out.
Old stories, gritty stories, haunting stories. Stories I had spent years drinking into the shadows. Stories that peered up at me in fragile longing, begging to be seen and forgiven. Stories that needed scratching; stories that needed to be looked in the eye.
Stories who, when they finally shimmied to the surface and blinked in the searing sunlight, released me from a heaviness of soul I had been carrying for decades.
Some of these stories I have shared in this space, but there are others too dark and full of shame that I cannot bear to expose them to public eyes. Yet even the private telling, the sound of each keyboard click and placement of each word against a glowing screen has allowed the dusty memories to shift and clear space within me.
There is an evacuation that happens in my spirit when I write – as if something dense is moving out. (Not so unlike taking a good poop, I suppose.) I feel relief when I look at the words that have come forth. They are no longer inside of me, pushing at my edges and jockeying about to make phrases and outline emotions. When I sense words building up, it’s like a steady stream of water is filling up a bucket in my mind. As the words near the rim there is a desperation to empty it – Find a pen, a scrap of paper… Anything! – and write it all down before they overflow and disappear into the abyss.
After releasing those first compacted old stories, I began to write more freely about my current state of being. The words became formed by my daily experiences. The shape of them on the page and the sound of them in my mouth is an offering of gratitude to the present moment, whether I am experiencing joy or struggle. Without them, it is often as if sensations seem to flutter just out of grasp, but when the words get solidified, each lived moment becomes decorated and held in place.
I sometimes find myself in a panic about whether or not people will read the words once they have been written. I want to stand on the rooftops and paper the streets: Read this! See me! Validation! Validation!
But that is just the superficial need of my ego. It really doesn’t matter who reads the words I write. To me, their purpose is served once they have been expelled through my fingertips; after that, they are no longer mine. In fact, I often read my writings months later and wonder where on earth those words came from: Surely, I didn’t think of that.
Perhaps some words will settle themselves into someone else’s soul and be transformed into something new – an inspiration, a hope, an acceptance. And perhaps others will pass through unnoticed by most, content with simply being written.
© Skye Nicholson 2020