Over at Between the Lines is a love story in progress disguised as a writing project. Check it out. Hey, you know something about love–you know you do.
I could go on and on about the boy who told me I wouldn’t impress his friends or the one who told me he was still friends with his ex-girlfriend, who was, in fact, his fiance. Perhaps I could tell the story about the guy who only wanted to see me after 10pm or the one who wouldn’t kiss me until he dumped me–ten months after the first night I stood at the door waiting for that kiss. There’s the one whose girlfriend who was six time zones away but who showed up at the door anyway. And of course there’s the one who asked me to marry him, and since I thought he surely had a better girlfriend elsewhere, I didn’t answer for three months. Sometimes after eleven years of marriage I still expect him to wake up one day and realize he hadn’t meant it after all…
But there is this other love, this other passion, and it is for what keeps me at night and distracts me during the day. The other day I was chatting with a new coworker and I told her that I don’t get enough sleep because it’s the only time I can write. She replied there was nothing she felt strongly enough about to give up sleep for.
Often I must remind myself that there are people out there who don’t need to lose sleep over a blank page. There are people who don’t think about writing a book or drawing a picture. Given all the free time in the world and a full bank account, they wouldn’t create anything. I, on the other hand, would still lose sleep. Sure, I could lose my anxiety about writing for a living and justifying the time I spend in make-believe, but not write? Not make art? What? Whenever I think my writing and my art are worth less than the trees butchered for them, I then think about my life without them, and a barren wasteland stretches out before me and I’m suddenly afraid of wide, open spaces.
I love my novels and my art even if they disappointment me, leave me, or break my heart. Whose handiwork does that sound like? You, Cupid. You! There I was once, at six listening to my mother explain the color wheel, at ten staring at a wall of books in the library, and at fifteen enjoying the feel of paper under my fingers, and zing each time another arrow went into my heart–even if I pull the arrows out, I can’t let them go. Sometimes I think I’m using one of those bloody arrows as a pen, but maybe that’s just the melodramatic writer/artist in me.
Yeah…more inspiration is coming on…girl with bloody arrow clutched in her hand…
Oh, Cupid, thanks for that.