On writing: The song of my music box heart / by Christina Rosalie

The snow is wet, but it's falling. The first snow, really, of this entire season. Flakes like goose down drifting from the torn featherbed of the quiet nigh time sky, yet I've already seen the robins with their fat vermillion breasts, and even though it's a leap year, February is almost spent.

I have until April. Until the twentieth, to be exact, to pull off something bright, provocative and well-researched for my thesis, and I have dozens of articles in a printed stack beside me; sheaves of evidence; proof of where my focus should be in every spare minute; in every fragment of time left at the end of the day.

And yet the only thing I want to do at the end of the day is write.

Like this.

I can feel myself, in the weeks when writing is scarce, become like a Bread and Puppet specter; a disjointed creature with long limbs and dark circles under her eyes.

Then, everything in me resists the pre-determined course I've vowed to take at 8pm: research, interviews, and organizing paragraphs to defend a logical conclusion. I become like a vintage music box too tightly wound: impatient, stuck, off key. It is the practice of writing; the meter of showing up; the tempo of reflection here, at the page, after twilight has been tucked into the soft dark pocket of the night, that unwinds the thin filament of my soul, and aligns the brass pins of my music box heart so that it can play again its winding calliope of song.