Writing is an intellectual and an emotional process. We begin early and late, in childhood, or scratching in teenage diaries, in mid-life midnight stress, and in our later years. With skill come humility and hubris, both in their turn, often within minutes one of the other.
Writing surges out of us in quietude as well as chaos and sometimes it surges not at all, but rather seeps and trickles with surprising lassitude. Within a swampy quagmire, though, life burgeons silently - the flick of a silver tail visible - and then only dark waters once again.
On the days that we ride the sparkling surface, eyes alight,the joy of words in our muscles and bones, the paddle cuts easily through and we see shorelines and horizons, and on other days, we trudge rock to rock, in muck up to our ankles, yelling or crying, "Why bother?"
How much does our writing life mean? What does it give to the world? Will it save a parched desert or feed a hungry baby? Maybe it will. Maybe this muddy, wild thing saves only ourselves. The flick of a silver tail might be all there is. Maybe it's enough.