Time To Write by Laura Marello

So delicious—this light, this air, this time, my time, because I have constructed a solitary life in order to free up time to write. Ice chatters in cool, stevia-sugared lime juice; I look out through the window and see the avocado tree needs watering. But I do not get up because this is writing time, not plant-tending time, not cat-tending time, not house-repair time, nor house-cleaning time, not errands time, or social time, or work-for money-to-keep-me-alive time. It is not even job-application time. This is writing time.

Even if what I write is shallow, or nonsensical, even if it amounts only to an unfinished, flimsy story, I still feel better after writing it. I feel more myself, more confident.

Why is that?

Does it need to make sense? Does it need to be understood? No, it does not need to be understood—not to feel better. How much time do we waste trying to make sense of things that never make sense, or trying to understand things that will never be understood? Why not just live? Why not just make art, or fly to the moon, or hike Patagonia, or surf off Easter Island? Why not just write?

My sight is blurry without reading glasses, and sounds are muted without hearing aids. This is not diminishment, but calm; it turns me inside myself, despite my audiologist’s warnings about future dementia, if I do not amp up the volume, she says. But with an active imagination, do I need to? The blank page is so pretty, pristine, clear, glistening, pellucid. Why make a mark upon it? After writing fifteen books, publishing five of them (a sixth forthcoming), why should I write another? Can I just write for myself now? In other words—not write to show, not to make a book? Just write for the sake of writing, or the sake of feeling better about myself?

I tried painting. I love images, colors. I tried guitar; I love music. Why do everyday words scrawled down or punched from a keyboard into a computer make me feel better? Since age seven it has always been that way for me. Maybe that’s all I need to know or understand about it. I might love more the paintings or music that others create, but I create with words.

Little sign that says Write
Write by Justin See (coming back)CC license.

Laura Marello

Laura Marello has three novels published through Guernica Editions, 2010-16, and a fourth forthcoming in Fall 2019. Her collection of stories, published with Tailwinds Press NYC, was shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize in 2016.

Her poetry chapbook is published by Finishing Line Press, and was the second finalist for their New Women’s Voices Award. Marello has been a Stegner Fellow, Fine Arts Work Center Fellow and National Endowment for the Arts Grant recipient.

Marello has just completed a novel about three women lighthouse keepers on the central coast of California 1857-1917, and a collection of poetry based on Celestial Navigation. She is working on a memoir about the confluence of friendship, spirituality and environmental concerns, set in the desert of southern California.

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