Of all the things I do with my hands, my favorite is writing. Knitting or playing guitar get in the way, and when the muse persists and insists itself into my life, it’s time to reduce some of the distractions. Writing by hand, feeling my way into the words and where they want to take me, is the way I begin.
Inspired long ago by Natalie Goldberg, I buy spiral notebooks with wild covers and lined paper. I leave the first page blank. As if in anticipation that what I’m about to lay down in ink will lead me to something that is extraordinary, if only in my own imagination. That white sheet of compressed pulp beckons me; full of possibilities. Balancing between my poised fingers, a stunningly beautiful, smooth-flowing pen—a gift from a friend—I place my hand just so and step into my thoughts. I am doing what I was put on Earth to do.
Perhaps one day I will pick up my Taylor guitar again, cultivate the necessary calluses and pluck out a tune, finding my way back to making my own music or rediscover the soothing sound of needles clicking as I cable my way through a challenging sweater “recipe,” the soft yarn slipping satisfactorily between my fingers as they guide the pattern to completion. But for now, and I suspect for quite some time to come, the passion for expressing myself in words has surfaced once again, and I see no end in sight.
It’s almost as if I held that Taylor or those knitting needles in lieu of a pen. Those creative distractions were lovely ways to spend my time, but I was born to write.
(You can learn more about Susan at susanlgemmill.com.)