WE MUST BE WILLING
by erin rose belair
I think it has a lot to do with being willing. More than I ever thought before.
I am telling you what I want is a watercolor painting of whales but what I mean is, please kiss me. But, just because something feels good does not mean it’s going to fit. Does not mean anything besides it feels good. And I take this as a sign of my growing up. Brushed arms, thoughtlessly placed hands, the direction I face when I sit. This isn’t a secret. But I am pretty sure it’s a dream.
I go away for the weekend, all honeysuckle and daffodils, mossy green limbs and cold salty shores. I burrow away into my writer life in a way that feels familiar, this cloak of work, this so clear purpose that permeates everything I say. I sip coffee and say things like, it’s not easy and I’ve never been good at anything else.
What I mean is, I don’t know how to finish anything, and I am always afraid of running out of time. When you tell me you are afraid you missed the boat, it’s almost as if I am talking with myself. They say people come along and they are mirrors, show us our true self, show us what we need to see.
What I want is to go upstairs even though I do not know where that is. What I want is to wake up and play with words and walk down the street and drink coffee and watch it rain, and drink bourbon early in the afternoon and read books out loud in my underwear with the windows open so all the noise gets in. I’d wear sandalwood and be the sort of person who throws away dishes instead of washing them.
But it is not mine to want nor is it enough to want something. To run my fingers over finished books; I cannot wish my words onto the shelf. What I am thinking is that we must be willing and we must will our lives in the direction of that very want. We must right our sails and get on the boat, or better yet, will the boat ashore by getting up in the morning and getting back to work.