a record keeper

WHY I WRITE – a Chuck Wendig prompt

I fell in love with stories.

It hit me one day, without warning.

I remember it perfectly. I was about eight years old, and it was a rainy afternoon in November. Outside, everything was washed grey, silhouettes started dissolving into the murky atmosphere. Dust washed away with dirt water… Even the sunlight through the rain clouded more than it revealed.

Somehow, everything about my childhood seems grey, hollow and vague. I grew up in a socialistic land on the brink of revolution, and its aftermath. Nothing was like it ment to be…

That day, I stood at the balcony door and stared out into the rain. Below, people were busily running around, surviving the strains of everyday life. I thought of my everyday life, and I didn’t like the pictures forming in my mind. I hated my everyday life. The ink stains on my thumb fore- and middle finger itched. I saw no differences, no contrasts, just boundaries and limitations.

That cursed moment I felt my heart bursting with anger, fear and frustration. There was no way I could escape that grayness around me; in me… No matter how far I went, what I did, it won’t rub off. Ever. It was etched under my skin, in the tone of my words, it was the background noise of my dreams. That special kind of grey, it will always be part of me. It will always stay there, dulling my senses, my thoughts, my emotions.

I was lost.

The pain of swallowed glass shards and strung heart kept me company for a quite a few years after that day.

I started writing. That day, I started writing a little story. I don’t remember it any more, only the ruled paper and the unevenly scribbled sentences stretching from one end of the line to the other, in purplish ink.

Something happened. In that domineering conformity of grey, the paper seemed glowing snow white, although I soiled it with my pen. It was different. It was new. It was; I was dumbstruck.

I felt the lash of a whip over my head, a cracking thunder, or  maybe a sudden notion of meaning (though I never had the right words for that, just an overwhelming pull to the Inside-of-whatever-that-Was). I remember how desperate I was, not knowing what to do, or who to tell. What was going on? What happened to me? I kept wondering, how long this state would last. What should it mean to me? Wrecking my brain for a solution, for any solution, I got none…

Thinking back, I’m convinced that something important hid itself. Something that mattered and still matters to me, I guess. But like all (really) important things, it’s invisible, untouchable, not tastable, not audible… I know it’s there, it pulls me.

It still plays hide and seek with me. It makes me crazy! It is on the tip of my tongue, and I´m not able to reveal it to the world, nor to myself. I dubbed it my core, my everything, my love, my dream.

The struggle began: I wrote, it ran through my fingers like sand. I wrote, it changed shape. I wrote, it dissolved into thin air.

So I wrote…

With time, I´ve achieved tools of revelation : words, languages, pictures, stories. In that sensible time of my life, I fell for stories. I truly did, as soon, as I realized, they ment freedom, they were my escape route. I was so happy, that I could explore the infinite silhouette of That-which-refuses-to-show-Itself…

You know, the wonderful thing about stories is, that they manage to still my hunger, my anger, my anxiety. Which is pretty impressive, I can tell you that!

I´m not sure if I have a style, or talent of any kind. I´m not sure, if I´m even good at what I´m doing, nor that I´m ment to have success with it. But that is not the point. What I do, I need to do. I´ve got a regular job, which keeps my brain distracted from this obsession. It distracts me from my tracks and fakes my needs. It holds up my hunt. Frustrating that is, being caged up like this… I´m a physician. I have to help others.

Can´t wait that others will help me one day, cause that´s not happening. Never does. Writing is my own medicine. Storytelling is my doctor. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me happy and… sane. Yes, I know, it sounds pathetic – it’s therapy.

As it is, it helps me to observe ´n recognize, what I´m not able to see under my own power.

I don´t think, I´m a writer, or artist. There is no art in what I´m doing. I´m only recording, what´s happening inside… I may not be a good record keeper either, but I try. So my writing is more a documentary work. It is proof, that I exist… Somehow…

Does this make any sense? I don´t know.

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