That is the goal of writing, a piece of sculpture, a film, or any creation, really. Nothing flabby, nothing soft around the edges to hide a flaw or our sloth. Don’t turn away because that crisp thwack—complete with sound effect—makes you look, and thereafter, you don’t dare look away for want of it. Joy is craved, seldom, the original intent, the ecstasy in ritual, the breaking of human water, and the release when, in dry death, the waters still.
No one designs this bouncing baby joy, but there he is, perpetually born in inspired writing. Never stillborn, he resists adoption, cannot be cloned—he is conceived in a process we do not control and cannot simulate, no matter how far into the future technology prods.
Even where utter sorrow is expressed, even where longing corrodes, even where the sacred is profaned, where effort is real, there is joy. It is underlying. I have often felt joy explode effortlessly through heavy cement, launching seed on absurd little parachutes impossible to contain. As I grab at them, they are whisked away, displaced, sucked just beyond reach but still afloat, and as thousands fall all around me, reality is deeply shifted, if only for a time.
Perhaps we will get no closer to the Garden of Eden than this, original intent. If we create truly, honestly, we give ourselves to its thrust.
And then there is joy, in fact.
That lovely short poetic essay was written by Phyllis Peters, my Wednesday's Guest today. She is the author of Untethered: A Caregiver's Tale, the book I reviewed on Sunday, and here she is to tell us more about the story. Grab your favorite cup of coffee, and please help yourself to a cookie, while you take a moment to meet Phyllis.
Phyllis is an author and educator who holds degrees in music, literature, and education. Daughter of a writer and newspaper editor, she has always been in love with the word. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in online publications, magazines, and literary journals such as The Pinch, The Ampersand Review, and Munich Found.
You can find Phyllis on Facebook and Twitter.
I loved the essay, as I think it expressed what is in the heart of most writers. What do you think?