Something seemed amiss. The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling were in the wrong place. After a couple of second of complete disorientation, I realized I had turned myself perpendicular in the bed. Now, that’s some good sleepin’.

I look up. The light is different, more angled toward my face. I shake my head a tiny bit and feel the mass of hair bob against my neck. How long was I down there on the page? Where had I gone without leaving my desk?

These days I long to climb into the cave of words and disappear. Nothing gives me more peace and joy than climbing back out of language to see life with fresh eyes. It’s how I know this is what I am made to do.

I want to hunker down in a desert of language and wander through the sand for hours. One of my favorite groups of people is the Desert Fathers, those great men of faith who inspired the Christian monastic traditions, who took to the desert wilderness to find solitude and hear God’s whisper. Days like this I want to follow their words into the endless sand and live there while language sinks deep into my bones.

I want words to take me into new parts of myself so that I come out changed, whole, new. I want language to bury me in her slick grip of glass and smooth my skin so that is soft as a newborn’s tiny hand. I want to lay on the cooling sand at night and feel the heat lift into the atmosphere, watch my words spin into a sky speckled with a million stars.

I want to wake up with the stars in a new place and the sun at a different slant.

Desert Cave (Image by Brandon Kowallis)