When I was in my early twenties, I woke up one morning, shuffling down the hallway of our small apartment, not far from Texas Tech University, where I worked as a receptionist and administrative assistant, and my husband took classes, where all at once I realized that, “Hey, why is it that every morning there’s music and words inside my head?” Song lyrics, and random words, stories that poked and prodded and came spilling out of my brain.
So, I wrote a short poem to capture what I had been experiencing, not just that morning, but likely most mornings and days of my growing up years, because for as long as I could remember I had been driven by words. Words that wouldn’t stop coming.
Here’s my not-so-good poem (but sort of funny in a way):
Early bright, sunrise
I ponder upon
A story I have drawn
WORDS swirl inside my head
I have no FEAR
I wish at noon they’d come instead
A WRITER’S CURSE YOU SEE …
I know, not very profound. But the point is that writers, like me, are bound, tethered, prisoners of WORDS, and no matter what we do, or try to will ourselves to STOP thinking about them, and creating stories by them, they just keep coming.
Yesterday was Labor Day. The first Monday of September, a federal holiday where many take the day off from their secular employment, or really, like the families I know, it’s just a long weekend at the end of summer to go camping, or catch up on movies (we went to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind for its 40th Anniversary showing), or have a barbecue of some sort.
But I had never thought about the history of Labor Day. The Washington Post columnist, Rachel Siegel wrote about the controversy surrounding the reason for making Labor Day a federal holiday, the motivations behind doing so, and its turbulent origins. Here’s the link if you’d like to read it.
And so, for some, even though there are certain days or times to rest from working, it’s nearly impossible to do so because even while supposedly resting, the brain is still toiling. Not only for writers like me, but many, many others have experienced this as well. While watching the movie yesterday, I was actually making mental notes of plot points, dialogue interactions, and the way the film was developing its characters. Ugh! All I wanted to do was rest my brain and enjoy the movie. No rest for the weary.
But really, as with any curse, comes the blessings, the good. I’d rather spend the day after Labor Day thinking about those, why waking up each morning to WORDS moving inside my head is a good thing. I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way.