Shackles

The keyboard keeps calling to me. It coaxes me closer and closer to a blank white screen, ripe for a plaster of black font. Every day I ignore the pull, shushing it for just a little longer, just a while more. I tell it that I will never be known for my writing. I tell it that I am young and inexperienced and broken and desperate. I tell it that I don’t have time; I am an adult and I must function. I don’t need to write, I tell my soul, and suffocate its cries as I walk away from the laptop.

But my soul fights back. It delves into art, and I find myself doodling random and meaningless shadings and lines on every blank surface. I sing when I’m alone, and the songs stay in my head long after I’ve crept into the public’s cold eye. My walking takes on a lilt, and I dance, I float, I fly. I find my pencil sketching characters and racing through stanzas of imagery. I catch myself staring too long at the ocean waves, at a blade of grass, at a shaft of evening light. Recreate me, these things say. No, I say.

I WILL NOT BE IGNORED! my soul says in its reverberating voice. You can hate me; you can fight me; you can cage me. And yet I will escape, because I am you. I am greater than you. I own you, and your gifts are not yours. They are mine. YOU ARE MINE.

Finally, broken in more ways than I started out, I give in. My fingers run over black keys and I hand myself over to my soul.

After all, it whispers in smug victory, writers write.

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