A ten year old sits at their couch. She is edged at one corner her tiny hands supporting her head, not that it needs it anyway. A creative trance has engulfed her. What is on TV one would assume, is one of the many hallmark productions by Disney or Cartoon Network. Far from it, a rabid dog is threatening to devour a young mother and son who’s most secure hideout right now is a car. The child in the movie is obviously frightened and looks to the mother for a solution but none is forthcoming.
While such monstrosity ought to scare the ten year old whose behind is always glued to the couch, as her mother would say, it does not. Instead it fascinates her. She leaves the screen and tries to think of the brains behind the storyline. How did they think of this? This feels like something she can do. She might even love it. Why did the person think if a crazy dog? I mean she knows that dogs can go bonkers. Only shortly before today, had she been chased a small Kenyan Shepherd, Tommy, that she was sure was going to kill her. She knew dogs are nuts. But enough to hold a young family hostage. This was so good.
On the other hand, the mother of ten year old watches her in amazement wondering why her child does not enjoy Tom and Jerry as much as she does this deranged dog. This is not a first. Her child prefers being indoors with a book or have a png video tape in their JVC VCR player on repeat. In her heart she knows that her child is gifted. She hopes it’s a more than enjoying the movie Cujo.
Fast forward to the future. The ten year old is a 24 year old going through quarter life crisis. Paying bills is important but so is her happiness. Not to be mistaken for a sense of entitlement or a lack of an understanding of the golden rule of working your way up; a sentiment associated with millennials. No. She has done menial jobs. This precarious resolve is driven by a sense of urgency that seems constantly plague her.
For six years she has been worn different hats in the creative world but one has refused to come off. Writing. Her love for words can be traced back to hiding in the bathroom to catch a few pages of a pacesetter, probably Mohammed Sule’s The Delinquent, away from her visiting cousins. They were too loud that she sometimes thought of them as Cujo. Now in her own apartment she can eat up any book as fast as she wants.
While searching for her own annunciation to declare her a worthy writer, she seeks refuge in other writers. Among the pack, is On Writing by Stephen King. The first few pages describe King’s childhood which is nothing to dance in the rain about. That instills fear. The gloom was all too familiar. She picks another book but King will not let her be. She goes back and feeds all her fears on editor’s rejects, rewriting manuscripts for the umpteenth time, losing storylines; all which are well depicted in the book. Tucked in one of the pages is his love for one of his books that he has no recollection of writing. It was during the years spent in a stupor. It’s the book Cujo.
Light bulb goes on. Lightning strikes twice. Rainbow appears. He wrote that! He did. Drunk but still he did. She knows King. This revelation makes the rest of the pages a relationship that will end on the last page and will be worth it. The little whisper more like a bark, she heard from Cujo was not imaginary. Now written, the whisper is loud and clear. For six years she has been looking for permission to first, admit that she loves to write, can do it and wants it.
“…you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and filled up.” King closes one of the chapter with this and opens her up at the same time. A whisper. Three years of practice writing notwithstanding, she feels a renewed confidence and gush to write more. The future? She does not think of it. King did not. He just wrote.
It might be singing, going back to school, executing the business idea that has been dancing in your head for years, finally building that prototype that could help save mother earth. Good grief it could a doughnut recipe that you screenshot but are yet to buy the butter. If only you could get it right. You could finally start that bakery you always wanted. Do it. You have the permission to do it. You have the permission to be great at what life whispers to you.
The whispers will get louder. Nag at you till you listen. Haunt your sleep. Laugh when you try to drown them. Pat your back when you take the first step. The sun will shine. Suddenly work does not weigh you down but the desire to be better pushes you to the next level of excellence. Have you heard your whisper yet? Are you even listening?