In my everyday life outside of Happy Monkeyland, I teach. Thirty-one 4th graders – all subjects. Including, writing. The process and the craft of writing. And like all good writing teachers, I teach them about brainstorming and rough drafts and editing, etc, etc. I tell them to PLAN their writing. Afterall, isn’t that what all good writers do? Sure they do. Right?
Ironically, that is not how I approach the writing process. Not one little bit.
I can have an idea in my head, kinda bouncing around, but not be able to write a word. If I try to force it, I won’t be happy with the outcome – if there is a finished product. Frequently it is an idea I hadn’t even thought about, a piece will just pop into my head. When the words are finally ready to come out, they flow forth fully formed. Like Athena being born out of Zeus, fully formed and ready to rumble. The words don’t really care what I am doing, when they are ready I had better be ready, or else they will move on and I will be unable to find them again. Nor do they care where I am, I had better take pencil to paper (my preferred tools), or they will run away as quickly as they came. Often it happens in the middle of church. I have pages and pages tucked into my choir folder.
This is one of those pieces that fell out of my head and onto the paper while sitting in the choir well. Have no fear – it is not recent. It is perhaps a few years old. I just came upon it.
It is the Music
When all is a pit of emptiness,
It is the music that fills me.
When all is floating away,
It is the music that grounds me.
When all is a cavern of deep despair,
It is the music that lifts me.
When all is crumbling ruins,
It is the music that strengthens me.
When all is dead and dying,
It is the music that enlivens me.
And when all is in pieces,
It is the music that makes me whole.