“Why do you write?”
I’ve been welcoming in new friendships, and dining out tonight I find myself across from a new male friend making small talk over non-alcoholic Sangria and fish tacos when I am asked the following:
“Renee, why do you write?”
I nearly choke on a piece of arugula, then blush and wipe the tear from my eye. I look up and meet those dark amber eyes and sink deep in them. My mind drifts off.
At first, I think his question is ridiculous. I mean, isn’t it obvious? I am annoyed and then I soften. “This is going to take a while,” I offer, and he says he has all the time in the world for me and wouldn’t be any other place.
My heart skips a beat, and another blush and a sigh. I push the white lock of hair from my face and settle in. I let silence fill the space and contemplate my response as he eats silently, waiting.
I have been writing a novel and my characters have become woven into my life. Earlier during my date, I was discussing my heroine in detail and now I’m wondering if it was all too much.
In the midst of writing, I often come up for air and have to come back to the real world—the work has taken over and spilled into the day. How do I ask him how he breathes, eats, sleeps, and has a desire for love without sounding corny or crass?
I delicately sip my Sangria as he patiently waits.
“I write because of the simple, beautiful things,” I muster.
His eyebrows go up in astonishment and curiosity and he leans in wanting more now. There are so many simple beautiful things that move me. Sometimes, the sunrise and sunset are a broken and bloody mess crying out at the start and end of each day. And I am witness to the sweetness that is this life.
Writing is cathartic and writing is a connection to my own philosopher, poet, and spiritual guide. When life is heavy or light, writing is always there. Writing helps me feel and deal. During those big moments when I have met new life or have said a final earthly goodbye, writing is the joy and the sorrow. Writing is bittersweet and carries me through challenging and difficult times. Writing is my breath and whole being to my core.
I know this will all sound like too much, so I offer this:
“Life is filled with simple and beautiful things that I want to capture, and most are bittersweet, especially this moment shared here with you.”
Now it is his turn to blush. I nod and continue studying his chin and mouth. “Every experience is a moment that I want to capture and remember. Sometimes there are difficult emotions and experiences and yet, somehow these too are strangely simple and beautiful.”
“Why is this moment bittersweet?” he asks. I smile and nod and say, “There is sweetness in knowing that a first meeting is the beginning and bitter because it may be the last, or there might never be a moment quite like this first date again.”
After the words have left my mouth, my foot accidentally touches his.
He smiles and says, “You are strangely beautiful.”