She slid into the empty chair beside me, as I was embellishing the top hat graffiti I had been working on for the last few classes on the desk and trying ever so silently to eat a bag of crisps, which were doubling as my lunch.
She greeted me with a warm hello and moved her card across the table. I bit down on the chip resting on my tongue, gesturing to the bag on the desk, then my mouth, as to illustrate I would talk when I didn’t have food lodged in my throat. I made another hand motion for her to continue.
“I’d be interested in having you write for the magazine I edit. Especially in relation to the last few pieces you read in class.”
She continued talking, and I could feel my face starting to flush. In my hast to quickly swallow, I, of course started to choke and half laugh. A piece of sour cream and onion chip is going to be my demise as someone pays me a lovely compliment. Typical.
“So will you think it over?” she asked. I told her I would. She got up and walked back over across the room. I moved the card back and forth on the desk, the organization’s name seemed to glare from across the table. Embossed lettering on white cardstock. I pushed it a little farther away, then further, until it fit perfectly in the corner of the desk. Even then it seemed to be eying me, so I finally just tucked it into my notebook.
Was it a matter of not wanting to, or not wanting to write about that specifically. I chewed my bottom lip, and continued to outline the top hat on the desk. Perhaps it makes me uncomfortable because I deem it all raw material. I never sit down with a plan, thoughts just somehow form themselves into sentences. If I had to really think about it, maybe some of the magic would get lost along the way. Or maybe I was just scared. I put down my Sharpie marker, moments away from ruining the graffiti creation. The teacher hands out a piece of paper to the class. It’s an excerpt from a Jane Hirshfield novel:
Artists freely admit their ignorance concerning creative insight. A letter said to be Mozart’s describes it this way:
“When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer – say, travelling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not; nor can I force them…
When I proceed to write, the committing to paper is done quickly enough, for everything is, as I said before, already finished…But why my productions take from my hand that particular form and style that make them Mozartish, and different from the work of other composers, is probably owning to the same cause which renders my nose to large or so aquiline, or, in short, makes it Mozart’s, and different from those of other people. For I really do not study or aim at originality. “
I read it twice, rubbing my temples. The words fit eerily into the thoughts that are swirling around my head. The class starts to discuss the quote, but I’m not listening. I’m paper clipping the piece of paper and the business card together so they don’t get lost. I’ll go home and stick them on the fridge. Perhaps a late night trip to the fridge for a glass of water will make my decision for me.