Those who live by the sword die by the sword. I guess. But what about the ones trying to live with their pens and typewriters? Those inky fingers and mad hearts?
My aunt loves to say that sunsets are for the lazy. Because they billow out for hours. Unfurl like a sipping whiskey. Sunrises are little shots. Of espresso or maybe tequila. There’s a green flash sometimes for the sharp and ready watcher. A precise magic. You lucky lucky girl.
There’s a lot of opinions about how much to live and how much to write. Maybe there’s a perfect formula, somewhere. A golden ratio for a poetic life.
But the scribblers I know don’t find it. Sometimes the only balance is getting out of balance. Running back and forth on the seesaw and then typing it out on your phone, on a blog, on a porch, because you realize you can’t sleep until you do.
If you sharpen your pen, lots. If you wade and sift through clumsy words for days of lifetimes. You can, maybe, one day, make a sunrise with the flick of your wrist.
You could write up a color of a mountain and a breath on a morning that never lived IRL. If you watch enough sunrises. If you write enough words. One day for one moment you’ll be a sorcerer. Drunk with power and painting fantastic.
And sometimes you’ll write your hands to nubs and your idea, once a gem, is now a gum eraser. Now a slug. Wandering off the page and leaving only goop behind.
And when you’re wandering like a rogue Roomba and bumping into corners and chairs. Then maybe it’s time to listen when your lover tells you to come to bed.
Sometimes you need to put your pen away. Sometimes you need to dust the words from your arms. Sometimes you need to shut the hell up. And just watch the sunrise.
You can’t always choose when to exhale and when to breathe in. But if you’re going to be an artist you’ll spend a lot of time trying. You’ll spend a lot of time breathless.
It’s a life you’re still allowed to live.