I have never considered myself a good writer because the incredible beauty I see is hardly reflected in the words I write. The love I have to share is lost and deformed in the confines of a horribly written paragraph. Overwhelming emotions are not conveyed in their robust manner, but watered down. Colors are not as bright and memories are not as clear and vibrant. The memory I have of running barefoot along a beach with my brother loses something, loses life, when I put it into words.
I wish there was some way I could better show the two of us, covered in sand from head to toe. Life jackets were secured to both of us to protect us from the high tide. The clasp dug into my neck, leaving a red mark under my chin. My dripping, sand filled hair struck my face as I ran, sections getting caught in my mouth. I wish readers could see us standing at the edge of the beach where the waves met the sand. They cannot see the water washing over our feet and falling back like I saw, and how we would sink deep into the wet sand until our feet were hidden up to our ankles.
I wish I could show readers every beautiful detail I see. I wish I could show them the mason jar that sits on a shelf in my room and how it is filled with shells, a few from each time I visited the coast. I want to show how beautiful it is when the light from my bedroom window catches the jar, leaving a long white glow up its side and reflecting light off of the pearly blue shells. I wish I could convey the love I have for this odd jar filled with little pieces of the ocean. I wish readers could feel what I feel when I see it, and remember the memories I remember. I want them to hear the heavy crash of water against rocks, and seagulls calling in the distance.
I want to show the little everyday things, and how warm and comforting they are. I want to make them sigh as I do when morning light floods through my window and leaves a square of light on my white wall, and how the light makes my white curtains glow almost angelically. I want to show them what I see every morning as I wake up to sunlight pouring in. I want them to see the pale blue sky with streaks of pink as I see it when I rest and gaze out of my window. I want them to feel the warmth of my covers after they are slept in, and the soft sound of blankets shifting in the early morning. Would readers then feel as much pain as I felt as I let go of those soft, comforting images when I witnessed hate and violence?
I wish they could see through my eyes as I watched protests escalate. See through my eyes the people holding signs, the people crying, and the faces of those who seem to have lost all hope. I want them to see the hand-written signs, the bold letters in red and blue. I want them to see the eyes that watched me as I took photographs, the eyes that stared directly at the camera, the gaze that still stays with me, harsh and cold. If I wrote about these experiences, would it make people cry like I cried? Would readers see the broken hearts of young Americans or hear the startling screams as arguments grew heated and violent? Would readers feel it in their chests – would they feel a weight choking their breath? Can I make my readers see and feel all of this, the pain, the sadness, the lingering hope from those comforting memories, all at once?
I have never considered myself a good writer because I feel unable to capture the intensity of these images. I watch these stories lose their power as I try to write them. It is only through writing, however, that these stories may live again. Despite my anguish to find the right words, I still tell these stories, hoping that maybe something will get through to the reader, something they will never forget. I keep writing, hoping one day I will write something powerful enough to inspire.