Brave

5-minute-friday-1

The brave man is the man who faces or fears the right thing for the right purpose in the right manner at the right moment.

– Aristotle

Fingers hover over the keys… hesitant to begin. To move them freely, to allow them access to the world of letters arranged in particular orders, stringing together thoughts, beliefs. To create and invent worlds and lives, all with reckless strokes and unscripted tapping.

This is a brave task.

To unlock the muse from the cage, to loosen it and watch it rise on wings and stretch out the kinks of confinement… this is to welcome the deepest fears made real. The tragedies that stories are made of. To step into the recesses of mind, open prison cells, torture chambers, and carefully guarded tombs… to turn on the light in the darkness of these cobwebs and faded flaws. And then to let fingers fly.

Bravery.

A writer is a brave soul, desperate for relief from the pressures of the worlds within, pressing against the bone and marrow as an en-wombed child kicks and squirms to make room and eventually, escape. Fear presents a new option. Keep it light; keep it shallow. Don’t go to the scary places of the soul and write from there… too painful, too out of control, too scary.

That writer never changes. Never grows. Is never brave.

But the one with the trembling key, twists it in the lock, opens the door… overwhelmed by the possibilities of dancing skeletons, screaming terrors, and freed tormentors, the stuff that makes story raw, believable, true.

The stories we love… come from behind locked doors. Only the brave open them. Open them to listen to the stories of their enslaved. No matter how painful, how tragic, how terrifying. We let them talk and we take notes.

This. Is. Brave.

That book you love? It’s author wept, agonized, pleaded, and grieved as the characters sang their tales, weaving them into the very flesh of their author. Not just pen on paper. Soul made flesh, the hidden made public, a distant whisper given a face, a body, a home… a life. The characters sigh in relief, weight lifted with burden light. The writer carries it now.

No wonder we are morose. So melancholic. We bravely enter the jungles of the uncreated, chopping at bush, blood flowing from our injuries, to tell the urgent story that no one else can tell.

We are brave.

To be brave means that you’re strong and not afraid of something that’s really scary.

-My five year-old son, Corban