Sunday, May 6, 2012

"What Do You Write?"

As I sit here, on the mountaintop, beneath birdsong, surrounded by lushness, with the ever present "you should be writing" voice repeating itself in my brain, the question I'm always asked whenever I say I'm a writer looms large.

"I retired to the mountains to write," I mentioned to a neighbors guest yesterday when he walked his dog by and Mello growled at the unknown presence.

"Oh, you're a writer. What do you write?"

Besides the fact that I've not written much of anything lately except blog posts about my One Women Homestead, or the fact that I'm not writing, this questions always perturbs me. Even artists must be labeled and placed in a particular box.

A painter paints landscapes or watercolors or portraits or houses. A musician plays jazz or blues or rock and roll. A dancer does ballet or ballroom or hip-hop. As though, if they chose, they couldn't do the other, or all.

Cozy goldness peeks through lush limbs
Turns to hazy heated afternoon becomes
Cool silvery midnight glow

I write poetry. I write reviews. I write short stories. I am writing a novel. I write blog posts about all kinds of 'stuff' here, and I write writerly stuff here. But to put all that in an answer to "what do you write?" I shouldn't have to. 

I am a writer. You are a dancer, musician, painter. We are artists. We create. 

Don't let them put you in a box because as sure as that cozy goldness turns to hazy heat to cool silver, they will close the flaps and seal us in. 

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