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What Makes Us Reach for What We Desire?



As creatives and writers - humans, all: What is it inside of us that calls for something more? Something beyond what we can hear, see, and touch?


Where does it live inside our bodies, this pulling?


Today, I am pulled to write. And I am writing (Obviously - these are my words!) I feel the desire inside my chest - the center of me - the energy gathers from other parts of me, like a slow tornado pulling all the air up into it, wanting to expand, to send things out into the world.


My words are coming out, but then they circle back around and down, (a reverse tornado) landing in my foaming cup of coffee. My thoughts, unruly, like when I try to meditate, but rather than a new thought coming with each breath, each word written offers a new pathway to explore.


If I allow my meandering fingers to journey me, I fear I will never even find the story I want to write. If they do the walking, fingers moving over each letter like the keys of a piano, what will emerge? How will I reach my goal of completing my story by the end of the year, 2021?


Writing is not linear for me. Rather, it goes in spirals and loops. It veers off, practically dangling off the side of the most precarious ledge with a view of the endless ocean, sharp cliffs with rough shrubs beckoning me below. But no. I don’t go there, I keep driving my old fashioned, blue English sports car that just got sold on an episode of Modern Love I watched two nights ago.


Bring it back, I tell myself, bring it back.


Disoriented, I coach myself: plant your feet on the ground. Take a deep breath. Center in your body.


Where am I?


In my backyard with the birds and a friend writing up-top, on the hill, in the sun, on the recliner I never sit on because it never has a cushion. I bought two so I could live out the fantasy of a summer spent lying on my lounge chairs in the sun with a friend, reading. Reading! When do I have time for that?!


Needless to say, that metal-spined turquoise lounge chair sat there empty all summer getting shat on by birds. This is the first time it is being used. My writer friend is happily scribing away. In the sun. On the chair. I am sitting at the most fabulous newly built-just-for-my-workshops table in the cold shade with goosebumps on my legs.


Women like to tell stories. Backstories. It seems we can never just say the thing - we have to give the context - the what that came before the thing we want to say, so that it can be understood in its full complexity, the way it rests in Her mind. As if she is so immersed in her story that she has to unweave herself out, through the labyrinth of experience and interpretation, so that the being told will fully understand - not just the surface of her, but the underneath of her - the truth that lies in the center of it all - just to answer a simple question.


What makes you reach for what you desire?


I find this in my mother, myself, and the many women who get “called on” to answer simple questions in the numerous self-improvement Zoom-Shops I’ve enrolled in since the Pandemic began. Places women congregate to get the support that may be lacking in other areas of our lives.


Maybe we are not used to being heard. Not used to being listened to or even asked with a pause while an answer is forming. When someone actually waits - Waits! for an answer, we are overcome. Words pile up like cars in a jam, clogging up the throat so when mouths are opened, nothing comes out.


Empty. Wordless, but with so many there, just there, waiting to be soaked up - to be slurped up like the ever-elusive froth from my coffee cup. Lips hover and stretch towards it, but the smooth foamless coffee slips in, to be swallowed up while the foam stares mockingly up at me.


Maybe the question is:


What makes us GET what we desire and not just keep on reaching for it?





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