Elizabeth Solazzo

I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love. I tell myself the secrets not easily shared with others. I soothe myself with the written word and find the comfort others cannot give me. I pour out grief and sadness over long ago hurts that now matter only to me. I encourage myself through my written words, reassuring a lost little girl that she is loved and perhaps more importantly, liked.

I write to make myself a better friend, mother, wife, sister and daughter to those in my life. It is my reward after being all things for those around me – fulfilling others’ desires without regard to my own.

I write to understand, to learn and to be understood. I write to still my body, to breathe more slowly, and help me think about this moment, the ink black or blue or red on the page, the letters curling and hard to read in my sloppy handwriting that is half print and half fourth grade cursive. I write to draw a picture the best way I know how. I write to remember funny stories of my family and capture the moments.

I write so others know I was here – like the silly girls of my youth wrote their names on freshly painted bathroom walls. I write to recall an old childhood friend who is no longer alive on this earth. I can still hear her say, “I have a new marker – let’s go to the bathroom.”

I write to get rid of the junk in my soul. To clear away the clutter that fills my mind, threatening to spill over and run out of the top of my head, or raise my blood pressure or grow into an evil cancer. I write to release it and be free and healthy.

I write to produce something, a smile on an old woman’s face, a careless shrug of, ‘so what’, from a young teenager, a giggle from a little girl, or a frown of concentration from a serious young man, all emotions felt from my words alone. I write to be heard above other voices that drown me out. I write to become visible. And often I write to become invisible. So I’m conflicted, and I write for that reason too. Why else would anyone write, but for the whispers in our mind?