Could I, inartistic and clumsy me, be a writer?
Could I grasp the letters rising from the ground, floating through the atmosphere, and sift them into words?
Could I then put words into some kind of order, one after the other, like the cars on a train going cross-country. Like the train, could they deliver something tangible? Not grains of wheat or pallets of goods, and not anything of this place, but expression of heart or something like connection?
Could I be a writer whose words someone, somewhere—you!—reads and then, you feel a strangeness, a sensation that you aren’t reading at all but rather that you’ve been read, and somehow your world has been put to paper.
Could I be a writer and put into sentences what you’ve touched, known, felt: your tallest arcs of achievement and your most hollow holes of despair and hurt? The chest-swell of pride and the broken neck of shame?
Could I be a writer? Could I express the pain points I’ve known, the grief and heartbreak caused by the loss of people I loved, or the love of people I’ve lost, and it make sense outside in the world, to strangers and friends alike? Could I lean over my keyboard like a pianist leans over a keyboard and play, play, play one letter…one note…after another until something lyrical is born and takes its first full, shuddering breath?
What is art? What is talent? Could I find in me something artistic to scatter in the air, something that catches on a breeze and becomes buoyant as it floats up up up into the ether, floating above me and my clumsy expression rooted to the ground, my inability to communicate well, my failure to be vulnerable in this lifetime.
Could I, tongue-tied and mere as I be, be a writer?