Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Love Game

Optimism is great. After an extended period of pessimism, I begin to notice the point at which negativity begins to affect my emotional well-being (rather, others’ emotional well-being). The other day, when I was in this state of emotional instability, I was in the kitchen with the intent of making guacamole. I was particularly excited for this; it had been awhile, and guacamole is up on my list of “food I will never get sick of.” As I scraped the avocado into a glass bowl, I slipped a sliver of avocado in my mouth: it tasted like mold. And I, you guessed it, yelled. At the avocado. As far as I was concerned, the avocado was guilty of negligence, treason and murder. The murder of my guacamole. About this time, a glimmer of rationality in my mind told me I needed to play what my mom likes to call the Love Game. I proceeded to lower my voice, and my temper, and make a verbal list of all the things that I love. I love when I get a text from my mom and it reminds me of when I had to teach her how to use a cell phone. I love chocolate. I’m pretty sure I love the guy who sits next to me in one of my classes. I love writing.

I love writing. There’s something about the scratching of my pen or the click-click-click of the keyboard that calms me down to my toes. Already the disgust of the moldy avocado had slipped from my memory and I headed to my laptop to write about it.

* * * *

Deep down inside, I know I will never write a Hamlet or a Middlemarch or a Moby Dick, or anything akin to the literary masterpieces I adore. At that, you might say that’s not very optimistic¸ and I would have to say, there’s a difference between optimism and delusion. That’s not to say that I don’t dabble around in the delusional from time to time, but I realize that I may never be a great writer. I may never be a well-known writer, or a wealthy writer. Or successful or recognized or appreciated. But that doesn’t (and shouldn’t, I believe) stop me from writing.

I love the satisfaction of looking down at a page of my personally constructed creation and realizing, I thought that. Writing is a necessity to me, like a winter coat in Alaska or sun block in the Sahara. If I don’t write my thoughts down, they don’t allow me to concentrate on anything else. When I get my thoughts down on paper, I can extract them from my mind and move onto other thoughts. Shakespeare must have had to finish Comedy of Errors before he ever started Hamlet (although it’s very possible that his mind was trained to think in comedy and tragedy at the same time). On a smaller scale, that’s me. Writing helps me move on.

It also keeps me up at night. The minute my light goes off at night, my mind lights up and starts free-writing. At this point I have a choice: try to squelch the literary seedlings, or flip my light on and scribble something down. Either way, I lose sleep and get dark circles under my eyes. But when I scribble something down, I feel like I lost sleep for a justifiable cause. I’ve tried to train my mind to turn on only during my waking hours; every time, I find that I haven’t gotten to the point of flipping my brain on and off like a breaker switch.

Writing fulfills my need for creativity; there’s something innately human about the need to create. Writing beautiful sentences for one person might be like brush strokes on a canvas for someone else. I crave the ability to make something out of nothing. Well, not really nothing. It’s the ability to turning thoughts and ideas into cohesive words and phrases, like organizing the elements of language into my own person universe on paper.

I love writing. And as long as I have a pen and paper, or Microsoft Word, the Love Game will be easy to play, and moldy avocados will be only one step in the writing process.


Dahia said...

Me encantó!!!

Hailey Jo said...

natalie, I love you! I wish I could have seen you yelling at that probably deserved it :)

Hailey Jo said...

natalie, I love you! I wish I could have seen you yelling at that probably deserved it :)

jessica renae said...

ya know... even though we missed out on some really great guacamole, it was worth it - because it made you write this. i love it. :)