Why I must write


To write

before they wake up

before the sun rises

before the tea boils

before my thoughts become practical.

To write before I say why I shouldn’t

before I eat something,

before my stomach settles,

before I take a shit,

before I take off the layers of me that I put on for other people,




Because if I do not write, something in me will surely die.

What is it? This something?

It is rain.

It is paradise.

It is the smallest voice of the surest truth.

It is the part that cannot speak.

It is the part that needs protection.

It is the part that saw me grow into a woman.


It is my voice.

Of invisible knowledge.

Of inside celebration.

Of inner heartache for the invisible and indescribable and untouchable.


I must get others to join me—in this waking up of the voice. 

In this holy act that no one will ask us to do.

I must lead the way for the others who are even quieter than me.

I ask you to wake up your own voice!

Let this voice

lead you to faraway places

allow you to end jobs and relationships and situations

that squelch this voice.


Or, at the very least,

if you cannot leave anything,

Make a space for yourself:

It can be a very small—

Small enough for you and your hands, and whatever you need to express your voice.


But, by all means, express this voice inside of you.

Because if you do not,

Something in you will surely die.

You will find it again, one day, when you return to the gentle listening,

But the voice will need some thawing and some massaging.

Something to WAKE IT UP!

So instead of waiting, 

Just do it now.



Do it first. 

Before the kids wake up.

Before the sun rises.

Before the coughing stops.

Before you feel alright.

Before the other voices call you away.


Because I have a secret to tell you:

you were born an artist.

Because you have a soul,

and that soul speaks.

Your soul speaks!


It speaks in languages that are quieter and complex and sometimes unseen.


The language it speaks

is a kaleidoscope of pain and longing

And celebration.

The soul is eternal, as is art.

Which is to say, it exists outside of time.


Your job is to become alive to this language, this voice.

To ride inside time,

Like a mother attuned to her child’s quiverings and stirrings.


It belongs to you, but it belongs to the world.


Your soul doesn’t care 

If your voice sounds good.

It only wants to sound like itself.