I wouldn’t want to meet you on the first page because my life is not a storybook, but an experience of loving.
I wouldn’t be ready to know you at the beginning, nor would you be ready to meet me in on that first page where I left a smudge of blue ink. A page bound together with the other pages collecting my experiences.
You’d find me at my beginnings: I’d be chewing on the edge of my pen, staring out the cafe window while steam from my decaf coffee disappeared into the air, into the sound of jazz, and the chattering of people that I did not know, but their faces have grown familiar with each time I visit this cafe where I write.
On that first page, as it is for most writers, I scribble out words that form without sense, writing out my distractions, so you’d find me with bed hair, coffee breath and eyes barely open, as I let my subconscious thoughts flood those first few pages.
I’d ramble on and on, smiling, sometimes teary-eyed, as I wrote through where and how and why I am me. You’d find me as me: unpolished, making mistakes, a lot of them.
I’ll accidentally write breath with an e because I spent too much time reading Shakespeare as a girl, so I add an e without thinking, and end up looking unschooled when really it’s that I am too much in the moment to reflect, to pause and see what’s around me, to breathe with an e.
And if I meet you on those first few pages with your eyes reading over my words, then I’d blush.
I’d look up at you, and smile, slowly, as if I had just be caught climbing onto the top shelf of kitchen cabinets to sneak a piece of fudge.
I’d only let you into my first page of blue ink, even as the ink was still wet, if you’d promise not to critique, but hold the space for me to write even more. If you’d promise to write back, or draw, or sing, or share some parts of your curiosity, some ways that you’d write yourself into my pages of my book, into my experiences.
Yet, even then, I’d rather find you later in my story, after I’ve fallen down, and climbed up, and swung through the oaks, or hiked along my path because I’d never be ready for you, let alone anyone on my first page of my storybook. I need those pages to fill up with wisdom, so that way I’ll know how to share me with you when you stroll into my book one day.
And then, I wouldn’t want to meet you on the first page of your storybook.
I’d like to know you after you’ve gotten lost in rivers, loved wildly and widely, left the things you wanted, loved the ones you wanted, struggled with words, and arrived into being who you would be in your story, your experiences, when it came time for us to meet.
We’d meet in my book where half the pages are filled with stories while the other half remains blank, awaiting wet blue ink for me to curve into words describing our first fluttering, hand-shaking, good-to-meet you moment that neither of us would ever forget because I left my blue ink on your fingertips.
Jes Wright loves being barefoot, taking deep breaths of orange blossoms while doing yoga, and finds nature in even the most urban spaces. She is an adventurer, enjoying the acts of painting, writing and playful mindfulness in her mostly uncharted journey between northern California and upstate New York, and back again. Jes holds an MA in Individualized Studies (Creative Nonfiction) from Goddard College where she learned the power of Transformative Language Arts. Currently, she’s working on a novel, a poetry chapbook, and being an ever present diplomat for those with Asperger’s. Her writing may be found at elephant journal and on Facebook.