Why I Write, Part One

If you wonder why I keep doing this all-consuming thing, even though I go basically unrecognized, I will tell you this: writing is an effort which seeks to turn pain into beauty and hold up the pathos of life for all to see…

I knew I wanted to be a novelist and a poet when I was 11. I have spent all of my free time (when not painting) since then creating chains of words, editing those chains, in an endless loop that marks the main pursuit in a life filled with a fortunate and relative peace (allowing this pursuit to be an option at all). Writing is, of course, a recursive, elusive, reclusive activity.

Although not a writer himself, Picasso famously quipped that “without solitude, no great art is possible.” Although I have had very deep friendships in my life, am involved in quite an entangling and long marriage, have a complicatedly beautiful relationship with my daughter–I do admit that, at least during the school year, I find I have much time to myself to dream up all kinds of artistic diversions and for this, among so many things, I count myself quite lucky.

So, in the end, I think, it is the mad dash towards the idea of the perfect thought perfectly expressed, chasing a runaway train of beauty and sadness and love and freedom that keeps me feverishly at my iMac, searching for release. And maybe, someday, even fame? One can dare to dream.

I will let you in on a secret: I am busy at work on my third book now, a collection of poetry (old and new). I would share the title, but I fear someone will steal it (as happened with my title, “New Moon”–seriously!), but I will reveal that “happy” is in the title.


Marie K Johnston/Kristen M McCurry

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