Why Do It?


What is it that we try to do here?

These things we write are not fundamental necessities for life, after all. They are not food, water, shelter, safety, or love and belonging. And they certainly can’t do much about a parking ticket, or to cure cancer.

I’ve never entirely trusted the “I write because I must!” declaration. It seems a bit vague. Maybe a little lazy. Well, yes, there’s an element of compulsion, but we’re not mere oxen yoked to someone else’s whip, are we? There’s more.

When something wholly new emerges on a page, or screen, almost in spite of our own inadequacies, it adds a kind of magic and light to life. It becomes a small gift that quivers in the palm of the hand, a tender proof of hope. And if not specifically fundamental to survival, It becomes something important, without which the rest is less rewarding.

But we–well, I do, at least– come to this thinking that we’re just looking for butter, and bread to spread it on. Too easy.

Instead, I sit down and am reminded over and over that I am merely told to milk the cow and given a churn; to harvest the grain and fire up an oven; to churn the cream into butter, to bake the bread. There’s no other way but to take the elements and love them into something more with patience and respect.

But oh, the warm bread and melting butter is wonderful.


4 Replies to “Why Do It?”

  1. I think when writing, we come to create new boundaries. No longer held back by the norms which are meant to define us. Surely we enjoy the relationship between ourselves but, what we care most for are the bread and butter!

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    1. To stretch this metaphor past the breaking point, perhaps… maybe we do this to figure out if the end product is still real once we deconstruct it and rebuild things from scratch. Take nothing for granted, in other words, and see what things are made of again.

      To test whether the boundaries we live within are still valid or not.

      Plus, nothing better than homemade bread with fresh butter. Unless it’s with honey. 🙂

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      1. Interestingly, these writing values are not all that much cared for these days thanks to all the quantities taking control.
        Perhaps the best thing about a weblog is it’s not all that cared for!
        Plus, you always get to have the honey 😉

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