I have long suspected that my writing engine is fueled by melancholia. It seems that the sadder I am, the more freely and skillfully my fingers tap on the keyboard to create prose (or, on very rare occasions, poetry). And so you must know that I write this now with great difficulty and almost-physical pain because, well, I am happy.
Maybe happy is too—how should I put it—ah, small, to describe my present state of being. I am not giddy or ecstatic. There is no silly grin on my face, at least not right at this moment. I have no reason to think I have become delusional; I still see clearly the life and work issues that beset me. But when I reflect, there is no internal angst that yearns release on screen or paper. Neither is there a phantom of the mind that begs to be given form with words. What I have now, I gather, is a deep sense of contentment… hope… groundedness.
In that sense, happiness.
I struggled to choose those words. And as I did, I took quick glances at the woman right in front of me in this coffee shop who is herself immersed in writing. It makes sense to look at her when I muse about happiness because she, my wife of almost ten months, is the source of much of this feeling that has halted my gloom-fueled wordsmithing. Last June in Tagaytay, on a perfect Sunday afternoon, Daphne and I gathered our dear family and friends and, as sunset hues bathed all of us, we took turns reading our vows from our iPhones.
Since that time, I have not written anything interesting.
So, yes, I blame my lovely wife for this dearth of writing. She has not given me grief to take to the proverbial pen and paper. When she smiles at me, I am rendered wordless. Have you heard her laughter? It cannot be properly described by any word I know. She has gifted me with togetherness so that time hunched in front of a computer suddenly isn’t so appealing. When I hold her in my arms, I cannot think of anything but the present moment and how blessed I am to have the duty and delight to love and protect this daughter of Abba.
“You should write again, love,” my Daphne has told me a few times now. I do not have the heart to tell her it’s her fault that I have parked the pen. Maybe I can find a new place from which to write. As I grow friendlier with this blessing of happiness and togetherness I might be able to cajole the writing wheels to turn yet again. This time, with new fuel.
I think I will call that fuel with the same name I call my bride: Love. And by no measure is that a small word.