Do We Write To Fill A Page?

Do we write to fill a page? To see the ink march resolutely across the blankness – ants against a blanket of snow; pepper spilt on the cloth of a fancy dinner table? Or is it because we know that with each word we rescue a world from oblivion? Each sentence a dyke that stands steadfastly against the water. Each paragraph a civilization recovered.

Do we cook just to fill our bellies? To stave off death for another day? To diminish the fastidious pangs so we can go about our lives? Or is it because the expressions, prepared with purity, lend longing? Each ingredient a canvas. Each spice a color – each finished work a masterpiece.

Do we make love to reach the moment – the release and the pleasant soothing relaxation? To invite sleep? To soothe the itch? To add a conquest? Or do we seek the glue to cement an edifice – each pristine moment another floor of a building that reaches higher and higher with each year; each decade?

Do we dream to escape reality? To abandon hope? To find a place where we cannot be touched? Do we use our precious moments of imagination to seek that which we once had? That perhaps we lost in fits of arrogance? That we no longer imagine could exist? Or is it because without imagining what could be – nothing for us will ever be.

Do we write to fill a page? Or do we write, do we cook, do we love, do we dream – do we create – because its our task to take others where they otherwise would not have the courage to go?

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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5 Responses to Do We Write To Fill A Page?

  1. Stephanie says:

    Beautifully thought provoking.


  2. I really like the last paragraph. I suppose we hope that what we write moves people. That’s the beauty of the challenge.


  3. Dalo 2013 says:

    Very powerful writing. Your last sentence “its our task to take others where they otherwise would not have the courage to go?” sounds quite true especially given where you’ve been in covering the news around the world. Great writing.


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