The walls were mostly yellow. Some green, white, red and blue had ended up in the mix, but only out of necessity. I spun around in my place as each grew taller. Eventually, I could sit cross-legged in the tower I was building out of blocks. Each of the facades contained a window, not much higher than eye-level. I had to see if my sister or my cousin were approaching so I could prepare myself for the battle they’d bring.
Once my edifice was about a foot taller than me (it might not have been a foot. I was six and everything seemed bigger then than it does now), I began to add the embellishments. Crenelation was necessary to any real castle, or at least the ones I had seen on TV, so I staggered blocks across the top. I had plenty of blocks left after that, so I began to build a tower in the corner to my right. I had to take part of the adjoining walls apart to make this stable enough to stand, but I had all the time in the world to do this.
I let myself get so caught up in the construction process that I didn’t notice that my sister and cousin had made their way into the room. By the time I heard them giggling, it was too late. The girls pulled the walls down from the outside and in so doing, provoked my temper. We threw blocks at each other until I hit my older sibling in the eye and as a result, got punched in the stomach. We were all so annoyed at that point that the fight was really about to begin, but the commotion and yelling had caught both of my parents’ attention. Their presence was sufficed for ending the battle. I was in trouble for hitting my sister with a block, she got a lecture about antagonizing me.
I loved building things. Linkin logs, Legos and blocks were my favorite toys when I was a child. My imagination manifested all types of creations constructed from uniform pieces of plastic and wood. Inspiration and invention led way to fabrications that started wars, housed Tonka trucks and imprisoned dogs.
Many years have passed and I still want to build. I’m still piecing things together only now, I use words. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, conjunctions and adverbs help me construct run-on sentences and stories, talk crap, declare accusations and make attempts at profundity and humor. Words fit together like blocks, each has its place right between any number of other ones. I’m only limited by my imagination, curiosity and occasionally, a lack of rage. If for some reason I’m deficient in one of these, it’s only a matter of time before one of the others ignites and I’m at work again.
My question is this: Do you write because you have something to say,
or because you love the craft?
(hint: Both are entirely acceptable and I would imagine that all of us would like to think we have something to say….)