As I do once or twice a week, I find myself upstairs, laptop beneath my hands, DancingBirds.com open to its “Administrator’s Write Post” screen, a small glass of wine encouraging me to write. Write something, that glass of wine says. Anything, my hands urge. And as I always do, during that once or twice weekly blog-writing event, I pause to think over the days’ occurrences of my tiny life.
May I emphasize that my life is really tiny, so I don’t have large things to write about.
For instance, I noticed today (for the thousandth time) my one kitchen drawer that refuses to stay closed. The drawer is just opposite my refrigerator, so several times a day I notice it just slightly ajar. One inch open.
Always one inch.
I reach out and close the drawer. Then I watch as it slowly opens itself again like a morning flower in a rising sun. Just one inch. Always one inch. I know because I measured it. It always stands ajar one inch.
I think I love that drawer.
It’s my tiny event. The thing that reminds me of beauty and perseverance and structural integrity and stubbornness and elegance. It’s my one true fault in a faultless home, wildly, messily, frantically pushing itself to stand out and be different. If that drawer could hold a pen, it would be a writer. A crazy, never-give-up writer who takes up a writing stance every day and doesn’t stop even when people keep pushing him closed. He simply pushes back that one inch.
That one inch.
One inch closer to the experience of writing a perfect poem. One inch beyond ordinariness. One inch away from an agent, an editor, a published novel. One inch nearer to a winning query, a blazing hot elevator pitch, a book jacket.
I could learn a thing or two from that persistent drawer. Instead here’s how I am as a writer: messy, failure prone (many), mistakes, brilliance, disappointments, absent from my desk (often), disjointed, successful, unstructured, embarrassed, indecisive, praised, unregulated, betrayed by my own self, buoyed by my friends (many of whom I’m not worthy), frantic, low-down, lifted up by my husband who knows me better than anyone in the world and yet still is my head cheerleader, loyal to my trade, insecure in my craft.
Yet, I’m learning from a drawer. A god-awful, inanimate drawer who simply won’t take no for an answer.
The funny thing is that since that drawer decided to refuse to give an inch, I’ve accepted the eccentricity of it. It’s my kitchen Sylvia Plath. My cherry wood Virginia Woolf. My John Milton. My Walt Whitman. My modern day Sage Cohen, my Jorie Graham.
Now, instead of pushing it closed with an insistent finger, I push it closed with the joyful expectancy that it will yawn open again.
It will open its mouth to sing.