why I am a writer

I am a writer because my soul is unlanguaged otherwise. Perhaps I could have been a painter, had my father not seen in me some natural talent for art, and made me practice it ruthlessly right out of myself. Perhaps I could have been a dancer, had they let me dance free in the shadows and the light, not just plie up and down at the barre. You can't dance until you've learned how, they said. And so I became a writer.

Because my native language is not words. 

I know, it doesn't make sense; after all, a writer works in words. A little they do, yes. But they also work in the sway of something beneath words. The tree-breath and dirt-pulse and old lonely sea-drift beneath words. The dreaming silence. And that is the language of where I belong. 

I write because what I can say beneath words allows me to have a conversation with those who speak the same language - the west wind, a certain kind of tree, the shadows watching from the edge of an old lake, the woman who lives on a hill in a great southern land, the river-thing, a girl with amber eyes, and all the other strange, half-wild people who may be trapped too in suburbia, looking at horizons, listening for a sound of home in the deep and secret languages of kindred souls. 

This is the fourth post in a series about writing, to help promote my fund-raising storybook The Coracle Sky, which is now available.


  1. I love these posts about writing. I love what you say about the feeling behind the words. A beautiful way to start my day :)

  2. oh yes i understand this. so very beautiful. i've been writing privately for the past eight or so months because i feel so scattered and desperate. reading your words always makes me long for my public voice again. maybe soon...

  3. my heart cringed when i read what you were told about dance.

    my experience of you and words, is that you breathe life into them.