The Power of the Sharpie Scrawl

Seven years ago it was just me and my toddler.  Silence pounded the windows at night while I sat at my computer, my surrogate lover.  I sometimes observed, I sometimes forced humour, I sometimes wrote what spilled out without any foresight or wisdom and without a lick of skill.  Always the reward for the late night tapping was a temperance of the loneliness that flooded in with comments, bringing tinned camaraderie, which I consumed with a wild  hunger.

My son was two, he was sweet and wise beyond his years and my hope in a family was shattered.  I wondered just how much I’d messed up his life with my bad decisions, wondered how dislodged he felt with just me leading his tiny life.

I kept a jar of caramel in the fridge and a bottle of wine in the cabinet and I’d eat nothing during the day and fill myself with sugar at night.  I don’t remember which of the rain splattered nights it was, or what spurred me on, but one blog post was just a series of fragmented hope that I’d already lost, of scenes I’d once conjured as a possibility, deep back there, but never uttered because the pinpoint possibility of fruition seemed a bit ridiculous.

But still, I wrote it like it was real:

a husband, a smart one, with a giant heart

a daughter, with wise eyes

a house on the ocean, in front of the calm

I remember thinking about my husband’s face, about what an imagined daughter might look like.  I imagined a father figure for my tow-headed boy, and someone who might love me despite all the fuckedupness.  I remember the house, because it was the biggest stretch of all.  It had a view that looked something like this:





I’ve always believed in writing things down, to willing the Universe slightly in your favour by scrawling things in thick black Sharpie and willing a path to the things that your soul craves the most deeply. Cancer and war and addiction and horror will still swirl around and inside, of course, but the things that might make your heart sparkle might lie somewhere in the transfer of desire from your head to your hand and on to paper, maybe?

I think so.  I don’t know why else I could possibly be here today, 7 years after flying here with a broken heart and a two year old, in my tiny house with my husband and my boys – my daughter and an ocean out my window.