Post by Kelly Greenwood
Putting words on a page can be a daunting task. Sometimes the words flow like a spring river, other times they trickle in like teenagers arriving reluctantly to class. The worst, as all writers know, is when they refuse to come at all.
Write about a time when you were too hot or too cold.
It is a rare occasion that I am too cold. I’ve always been “cold-blooded.” Born with the desert in my blood, I guess. Warm sun, hot showers, cozy socks and slippers, a burning hot fire, fleece blankets—these all put me in my happy place.
There are two people someone might refer to as “hipsters” posted up directly in front of me. I saw them at the coffee shop earlier, her in a pair of baggy, split-legged pants, a black top with plunging neckline, long, un-blowdried hair twisted up into a loose bun on top of her head. And he in a fedora, a bird’s feather tucked into one side, baggy, cloth pants, and deeply sun-tanned skin. They both sat and typed away on their shiny laptops, no doubt working away at freelance or remote jobs, their only connection to the real world.
Hot, so hot. The sun was like a member of the family, unyielding and exacting. We planned our days by its moods.
Whether or not the temperature was below 100 degrees determined if we left the house or not. The heat was a presence, a heavy blanket that sat upon our skin, sucking the moisture out. The taste of it seared my lungs as I breathed it in, boiling my insides.
Three strands: Me, my mother, and sleepwalking
A beginning: white, translucent skin kissed by the sunlight in a thousand scattered freckles, so similar in body, her skin, my skin, her compassion, now mine. She is the owner of the love in me, my first draft, me her masterpiece.
Growing up wild in the desert, her mini me, infusing her into me, her music, her burning incense, her fingertips covered in slick aloe vera, sending the sharp, healing scent into my pores.
Think about it. Where do our obsessions come from? Mine: reading, words, the earth, the stars, the universe, melancholy music, edgy images, fairy tales. These are the product of my childhood.
I was born in the desert, a steampunk wonderland of oases and sand dunes, raised on dusty books that smelled like age, fairy tales that took me away from the screaming in the living room (for I must have heard it, though I don’t remember it), the drawn out and vibrating melodies from the record player on the bureau, lulled to sleep by songs about pain and love and heartbreak and searching, songs about life.
I write to feel the scratch of pen against paper. I write to see my words, scrawled in spidery black, pink, purple, and blue cursive across the paper, marching in a line from some beginning to some unknown end.
I write because it brings me closer to that feeling I have no name for, that place I can’t identify, that memory I can’t quite put my finger on. I write because it sends blood to my heart and sets it aflutter.