On The Page

When I return to the page after a long hiatus it is always for me.

Being away begins to feel so bad, I can no longer tolerate the disconnect.

Writers need to feel safe to express ourselves and if we don’t, we won’t.

I have little doubt that the energy I’ve invested in my own social media channels has kept me from writing.

Why does this matter?

That I am not at peace unless I shut out the imagery and focus on the words and music inside my own mind. That I forfeit what I need for something else.

The space for the instant gratification. The emptiness for the immediate connection. The distance for the proximity, the intimacy through my phone.

Which is to say nothing against all of the self reportage and reflections on social media. Storytellers everywhere, we are!

But my big, solo wheels keep on turning.

I am not a painter and nearly failed third grade art due to my lack of drawing skills, but when I look at a painter paint I can see the level of focus. I feel that when I write. Not all the time but enough to spot.

It is the peace. The peace it brings me to write is unlike anything. The peace it brings me to write while cuddled up on a couch with a hot tea in a warm cozy space that may or may not belong to me is amongst my favorite feelings in the whole world.

When I could be anywhere but choose to be here. On the page. I know there will be a reader, so I guess I come here for me but stay for you.

When I am on social media, which is all the time now, I feel like my voice is one of a million. Sometimes I feel so small and insignificant, like what I say or do barely matters.

And yet.

When I am on the page, I feel like my voice is one in a million.

Social media, speck of dust.

On the page, star in the sky.

At the moment I am reading The Downtown POP Underground by Kembrew Mcleod, a fantastic, well-researched survey of “New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock’n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture.”


I am also hungry for a poem. Poetry outside of an Instagram square. A long poem. A poem that breathes with you.

I choose ‘Human Family’ by Maya Angelou:

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.


I used to believe this but thanks to the way politics are playing out, wonder if the human family is more different than the same. Time will tell.

Sometimes I think about the writing I haven’t done.

The love letter I want to write my soulmate who doesn’t exist, or at the very least hasn’t made my acquaintance.

The Facebook update I want to write about career updates I’m not actually having.

The story about my record number of apartments since 2016.

A gut level articulation about my family.

An exploration of how I went from there to here, and what I learned.