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Writing Against the Breaking of Day
As I hammer out these words the Sun peaks in at me through the tightly drawn curtains like a nosey neighbor. It’s raining, and has been for hours, so I know that he comes just to taunt me. He doesn’t have to be here; yet here he is, staring over my shoulder, breathing down the nape of my neck. He rebelled against the darkness, woke up the dawn, forced his way through moon and stars, braved the lighting and the thunder only to lurk there just east of my house, peering in through the cracks of the mini-blinds.
The Moon was quiet and unobtrusive. She assured me that I had plenty of time. “I am not going anywhere,” she whispered, “Take your time.” Sitting here in the stillness of night I was able to write a word, then two, and then another. Suddenly, a sentence appeared as if from out of no where. But soon I wished that it had stayed wherever it was from whence it emerged. It was a monstrous thing; ill-formed, misshapen, ugly. It was more sad mutation than felicitous creation. The Midnight Moon rendered no judgment when I struck that cumbersome clump of syllables from the page. Perhaps she too thought that it was a mercy killing.
But she is gone now. Forced from the sky like an exiled queen, she fled into hiding, leaving me at the mercy of Tomorrow. Now the Sun stares at me—smirking. Yesterday’s notions of progress melt away under his gaze. “Wrote a line or two there I see,” he heckles, “Not much is it?”
Why did he have to come Today? No one would have blamed him for taking the day off. It’s storming out; winds are raging like a monarch gone mad, yet he felt the need to weather the weather. And on a Tuesday to boot.
Being the obstinate fool that I am I may just sit right here all day. Ignoring his side-long glances. Thumping out a word, then two, and then another. Reminding him all the while that I will still be here when Night has wrestled him back to his tent for the evening. He may have plundered Yesterday of her frangible promises, and he may bring Tomorrow to light before I am ready, but there is little he can do about Today. Today is mine. Now belongs to me. Day may be breaking but it is not yet broken. Now is the only time in which I have ever truly accomplished anything anyway. So Now I write! A word, then two, and then another.
What’s that Mr. Sun? The clouds are chasing you away? That’s too bad. I’ll see you Tomorrow, weather permitting of course. I’ll be right here.
Last week Mere Orthodoxy featured one of my articles on the essence of poetry that might be of interest to you. It was a fun piece to write.
Check out my latest piece over at The North American Anglican.
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