September 9, 2009


"The pen is the tongue of the mind." -Miguel de Cervantes

"What do you think?"

"What are you thinking?"

"Why are you so quiet?"

"Tell me what you are thinking."

I cringe at how often I was asked these words. How often, hours later, I would think of the perfect way to form my thoughts into speech. We wrote notes, back and forth, before cell pones, before texting, passing them along in the hall between classes, slipping them into lockers, figuring out new cool ways to fold paper. Poems, declarations of boredom and stress, plans for later, feelings we dared express in print we could not speak... questions, offers, hints, guesses.

Later, in the depths of true emotions discovered as life grabs our precarious grip and wrenches, writing was my... cope... no, stronger than that... it was my means to reason, because how would anybody understand, how could anybody hear me and not judge, not misunderstand, not show impatience as I struggled for words? Paper and pen do not look uncomfortable as you cry.

"What are you thinking?"

I was watching the light fade along the dusty hills, smelling the sage, remembering the evergreens we don't see here, wondering how the sky is so purple when all the ground is brown and the sun is orange. I love the stars like brothers and sisters, almost ache to be among them, but how can I say this to you, when you are so cool, and say everything right the first time?


Maybe I should have kept a notebook in my purse. In some ways, it is good to grow up.

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