New Wells

I don't know that I've ever written for the fun of it.

At least, it's been a very long time since I have.

I've been writing as long as I can remember, even before I can remember.  In my memory box are crudely stapled construction paper booklets, and on them is my mother's neat print in blue Bic ink, "Heather is my little bookmaker."

I had no idea that I did that.

But I like that I did.  I like that I wanted to write before life started to hurt.

You see, I'm in this strange now-not-so-new place, this place of prolonged peace that I've spoken of.  No one in my family is dying or divorcing or remarrying, and no one in my church is rebuking me or my Dave.

In fact, my life is wildly enviable right now.  Dave has been hired to an excellent company.  His salary is enough that I quit my part-time job to work on writing full-time.  We are in a church that we call "ours".  Our fridge is full, our families are supportive, and our vehicles run great.  Even our cat is funny and healthy.

But it has the strangest effect on my writing.

Because, you see, I don't know that I've ever written for the fun of it.

I have written for classes, for internships, for freelanced articles, and for my family memoir clients. And on my own I have written volumes and volumes of non-fiction -  not for fun, you see, but for comprehension, for beauty, for sanity.  I became an expert at finding the smallest tropical island in a black hurricane sea.

In the middle of uncontrollable suffering, writing was the only control I had, the only power of redemption I had: to find truth and meaning in my hurting.

And for a decade, I had plenty of hurt.

But now I look at a blank page and blink.

I have forgotten how to write on my own without the catalyst of pain.

I believe I have words and things to say.  But the water is calm and blue, and the well I've always drawn from is miraculously dry.

So where now do I draw the water?


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