Writers walk. In a world always on the run, we are the ones being passed by, but who do not try to catch those who pass us. In the search for goals and completing tasks, of being productive, of chasing wisp dreams and concrete futures, people miss the ocean for the seagull. Oh, there is worth, but in always looking towards its ever farther flight, they, and we if we fall to it, miss everything between the hadal depths and pointed waters and to each littoral bound.
For a moment, I forgot this myself. With all the medical insanity, and by proxy insurance and disability insanity, going on with me, I realized on my way to drop off an important piece of mail how fast I was walking. And I realized I hadn’t noticed that Spring’s sweet perfume had started to fragrance the air with its warm spices of sunlight and silky bird calls. A world had sprung up around me and I had not seen it.
Running is for the rest of the world, but not we who write. We must dream and dreamers cannot be in constant motion. Our legs may be still but our minds have left the starting blocks in a whirlwind of stardust, trailing a swath of cosmic color behind us.
Writers must not run in the figurative sense. We should be writing about things that may not be easy to hear, in ways that may not be easy to understand, in our own words. There has been a Shakespeare and a Dumas and a Hemingway. Why should we offer the world something it has already seen? What the world has yet to see is our stories; it has yet to hear our perspective; it has yet to hear our voice.
There is another sense in which we must not run that ties the two concepts together. We cannot run from life. While we are all very different, I find very much of myself that the less that I live the less I can write. The more my mind is steeped in philosophy and theology and social justice and dreaming and magic and stars, the better and more able I am to write. We cannot run from life because if we do, even if it is running to learn how to write and write fantastically, we will have nothing worth writing about. We need to live to have our own unique perspective and voice. We need to live to find the stories that surround us that are sometimes about those who are running. But we can’t run alongside them and see the story.
Let us look at trees and see bursting green fireworks frozen and placed on popsicle sticks. Let us look at the sky and giggle at its shining freckles. Above all, let us walk and see what no one else sees so that we may tell the untold stories that we alone can tell.