February 5: Why I Am Not A Writer

I cling firmly to my belief that I am not a writer.  How can I be, when there are so many more talented people than myself?  … I can’t write these things.  I don’t have the images buried somewhere in my memory bank. I cannot juxtapose light and dark the way my friends can.  I cannot angle a brush correctly and I most certainly cannot run.

I often define myself in negatives, in terms of what I cannot do, because quite frankly that’s what I was taught to do.  … Even though acting has destroyed a large part of that, some of it sticks around.  I can see it in the stains on the bottom of my coffee cup.  I can see it in the green flecks around the rim.  I can remember the day last spring when he brought the cup back to me.  I’m sorry, he said, and I looked into it and saw the colors swirled and caked together like blood.  I didn’t know this was yours.  

That’s how I learned about the true terror and beauty of life.  That’s how I learned that the only way to live one’s life is at the edges of the known, the edges of the mastered concepts.  The border between art and mathematics.  That’s what I saw in the paint in my coffee cup.  It took a long time to soak out the molecules but at last I succeeded, and I held the cup in my lavender hands and couldn’t believe that something could be so warm and alive and still be ceramic.  

I am not a writer.  I am not a scientist.  I am barely a person.  I am not my face, either, and I am not my blood type.  I cannot figure out what I am, exactly, but I know it has something to do with coffee and the color green.