Bleeding on the Keys

I woke up this morning with a feeling that I forgot something. I was pregnant and I was happy and when I saw Paul, I remembered that getting pregnant wasn’t supposed to happen. It made me feel confused and I started to wake up, realizing it was all a dream. I looked at the clock: 8:30 a.m. Then, I lay there, thinking, what the hell am I doing?

I’m working for The Man again.

I thought about all the posts I’ve written. The confusion, the indecision, the scatteredness, the blasts against the system, the bucking of the establishment, the cheers for escape, the longing for the timeful life, the desires to be home, the desire to write, Italy and the beautiful women I got to know,  the fact that I haven’t written about my sister yet and I don’t know why, that writing is making me feel more and more solitary and I wonder all that I’ll lose in following it, wondering if I have any choice, is it all determined, do I have a free-will, are there parallel universes where I’m making different choices, I wonder how the me on the other side is doing?

I’ve been playing the Devil’s Advocate so long and so vehemently now that I don’t know who I am. Like looking into a mirror while holding a mirror, I see myself again and again. At the very center, a tiny version of me winks at me and doesn’t mirror the horror I’m feeling.

Elida was telling me about a book; the premise is that physical ailments have spiritual sources. For example, if you have knee problems, you’re afraid of changing directions.

I don’t have any knee problems.

I get headaches. Bad ones. My lymph nodes feel inflamed, but I never really get sick. Every day, when I wake up, I notice the headache. I skip the ibuprofen cause it doesn’t really help.

What am I doing?

I get down on my knees and I pray that the regular teacher comes back next week. I feel the disappoval of my extended family and the outside world.

I don’t care.

There are a few times in my life in which I made decisions that I never doubted. Once, when I was in Costa Rica sitting on the red cement floor listening to the ravings from the abyss, I swore I’d never doubt God’s existence again. I didn’t know all of the details, still don’t. But I knew, with all of my being, from revelation, that God existed. I was 20.

And another time, when I smiled at the world witnessing me getting married, I knew that I belonged with Paul forever — that I would love him with all of my being, that I would abandon caution and give myself totally up, with all of its risks, with the possibilities of hurt, of pride lost, of betrayal, I was sure that my path meant being inextricably bound to him. I was 21.

Those two pivotal points in my life, I wonder if they were even choices? When I look back — they look more like rescues — pivotal, yes, but free-will choices? The Hound of Heaven and my Soul Mate all feels like an inescapable destiny. A foreknowing.

Four daughters later. I am 37. Something feels familiar that brings up those old days of the pressing, prodding, and pushing of the protagonist. Is it another rescue? A foreknowing? There is a build-up. I’ve experienced it twice now.

Something is going to happen.

I remember another pivotal point. I always wanted to be writer. Since I was a child, I’ve wanted that. I was working for a newspaper and they were paying me crap. A new job opened up and I asked for it. The editor didn’t give it to me. They just wanted to keep paying me crap.

I enrolled in a teaching program and quit.

That was a free-will choice. Like I said, I don’t have knee problems.

Maybe your true destiny is determined by the Maker of the Cosmos. The free-will part are all the choices you make not to follow it. Who knows? It’s not like these issues haven’t been battered about by philosophers since the beginning of time.

But for my purposes, I think I made a mistake back then. I think I was afraid. I should have quit the job but for different reasons. I should have quit because I didn’t like covering council meetings and interviewing century-old farm owners or people raising emus.

I should have quit because what I really felt was (to paraphrase Hemingway) a desire to sit down at the keys and bleed.

I’m bleeding now.

I’ve received some feedback that maybe I reveal too much. Maybe I should keep some things hidden. I receive calls from worried family members. I feel stricken to think I’ve caused pain to anyone.

It’s painful to write it.

But a writer’s job is to pull back the curtain, release the memories, unleash the bound, open the locked doors, and reveal the hidden places of ourselves. Perhaps a writer isn’t really writing if the reader doesn’t squirm.

Writers undress and walk into the spotlight.

I just realized I don’t have a headache today and I’ve been writing since I woke from the dream. That old denounced method of bleeding someone actually works sometimes.



  1. As your Mom, you know I love all of you very much and only want God’s best for you. But this has been eating at me for sometime now. Just like Jesus said to Saul “you’re kicking against the pricks/goads” Acts 26:14; it appears you guys are making a similar mistake. Not trying to be contentious but just putting my 2 cents worth in in hopes of helping the situation. Yes, you guys are very talented people and I can understand your desire to explore and use your talents to the fullest. And yes, this world is a very screwed up/full of sin place. In my mind God gave us a brain to reason with, also, and He expects us to use it. What I call common sense/and sometimes wisdom. Have you heard the term “starving artist”? Wise people with talents, would work a full-time job and explore their talents on the side during their free time; and, if their passion ever makes as much or more money as their regular job, THEN, you quit your job and do it full-time. Now I want to leave room, because there are rare occasions when God blesses someone in their talents and it blossoms and they become rich or whatever. Like I know of a lady who liked making cupcakes and so she opened a cupcake shop and now it’s quite the success and she is nationally if not world renown. And I know you didn’t quit your job, you were layed off. I know the school system is screwed up and that many screwed up people lead, teach and attend the public schools, but the way I see it is they need people like you. People who know THE WAY, who can help those around them with a kind word or right word to fix a situation–little by little, person by person. People like you and Paul are an asset anywhere you go, because you know THE TRUTH, you are a light wherever you go. But the common sense of it is you need work, you have obligations to meet, you have children to feed and house and cloth, so you don’t have a choice–you must work. So you need to quit kicking against the pricks (the system, the circumstances) and do what you need to do and get jobs or find where the jobs are and sell your home and move to that place. I don’t think living in poverty trying to sell a picture or blog or book or whatever is the answer until it becomes the answer by some BIG door opening. UNLESS the Lord has given you some word to do so. And from the sounds of it that is not what is going on. Because then you would have a clear direction and hope instead of hopelessness and frustration–God is NOT the author of confusion. I know these are trying times for all Americans, but you have God and with God there is always hope. Maybe you should be fasting and praying and not get up until you have clear direction. God promises if you seek, you WILL find. But if you just murmur about your circumstances, God is not going to bless that. Tell God you will do whatever He tells you, not matter whether you want to or not and then when the door opens, do it with the best and thankful attitude you can muster! Murmuring is what the children of Israel did and God made them wander for 40 years! I don’t want that for you. So I’m taking the risk of not being popular and saying what I think needs to be said. Love Debi-Mom


    1. Danielle. Sometimes, you have a headache because you haven’t gotten enough sleep, or your estogen levels are off and sometimes knee problems are because you have arthritis and the weather is changing or you have played too many high impact sports. Sometimes you feel frustrated because you listen to all those around you giving you their “opinions” of your choices and you do not like what they are saying or you have so many opinions it is just overwhelming. AND sometimes God doesn’t care if you are working a nine to five job or writing. Most of the time, I think God cares if you love him and follow his commandments, raise your family in a way that they (your family) know His commandments and love him enough to want to follow him as well. Yes, he knows the sparrow, but he does not catch the sparrow before it hits the ground, tie a string to it to make sure it only flies one direction so it can be safe and happy. Just something to take into consideration with everyone elses’ opinions. Obviously, I still like reading your blog. That has to say something. I never read ANYONE’S blog. For whatever that is worth. I can feel your struggle when I read this and I hope you know I am rooting for you, Danielle.


    2. Thanks, Mom. I know how much you care about us. I’ll stop murmering.
      It’s true that we must work. But every chance I get, I’m going to work on writing, because I want to write and I want to be home. Ultimately, that’s what I’m aiming for.


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