Why I type


My laptop has a keypad lock that opens up a vault. Inside there is a labyrinth of rooms; and in those rooms: stories, poems, and word-hoards.


I type to get inside.


Some people know which keys to press. They spend their years alone and learn the secret sequence. Their fingers type until the doors crack open; then they step inside. When they return, their arms are full of stories. Others tap, tap, tap so lightly and open doors to poems.


Any combination lets you in that first door: an antechamber full of prose and verse. In that dim light all words glitter, enough to make you think they’re gold. I’ve been a fool and dragged more than a few out in the light and found them only brass.


Farther in, the light grows faint and you wander in a maze where every door is locked. No one can guarantee the doors will yield.  You walk by faith, not sight. I’ve stumbled into doors, heard the murmurs of the words, but failed to get inside.


I’m baffled by the combinations.


At night I dream of permutations and wake up full of simple faith. Stories and poems wait in that many-chambered place. So day after day, I type and hope that I can open doors. I want to find those words I’ve heard so much about.

32 thoughts on “Why I type

  1. Beautiful imagery. What credit you give to words. But there is more behind that keyboard… melodies and ideas, and images… lines of letters that are keys to rooms and vaults… an entire world that responds to signals, as once the dot and the dash represented language, as it streamed past.

  2. All those words and thoughts and letters that stay hidden behind those doors, and yet, every now and again, when we get a glimpse of what is possible, it gives us just enough courage to sit down and begin typing again. This was beautifully woven together, and the image was spectacular and provided the perfect punctuation.

    Poetry, for me, is a mystery in another language on another plane of existence, hidden behind the smoke that obscures any rational thought or comprehension, but even so, I like to let my eyes linger over the words, and imagine I actually hear something. I refuse to admit defeat, so rather than turn away, I just keep admiring the pretty words, and hope some day they will untangle themselves and let me in. I want to know. Really, I do.

    • I’m glad you will not admit defeat.You know the right combinations to so many good words.

      I type furiously in hopes of finding the right combination that will unlock a poem or story.

  3. One can aspire to be able to unlock the vault with such uncanny skill as you have.
    I lost a story that was 8 chapters in …. I will be working to reconstruct what I can of it now. I hope I do the first one justice in the recreation of it.
    If you would wish me luck, I might find the courage to begin it again. Or I may just take a deep breath, and try it anyway, luck or not……

    • I did this years ago when technology wasn’t quite so advanced. Months of work gone. Irrevocably and irretrievably gone. You need to back up.

      Two things are my safety nets. One is a series of little Jump Drives … and the other … the very best one … is right here on Word Press. You can store chapters as “posts” … keeping them unpublished. The automatic ‘save’ written right into the program, saves your work after every two or three minutes. It has saved me many many times. And as a bonus, it’s a first rate editing tool. Complete with Spell Check.

      And I’m sending you a huge shipment of ‘Good Luck’ … all the way from Hawaii.

  4. Sometimes, it’s those common thoughts that run deep in all our minds that are difficult to express. Some vaults are closed, and some we have to break open! What do you say?

    Also, ‘Woke up full of simple faith’- I am in love with this phrase!
    Cheers 😀

    • We can spend a lifetime wrestling with words, seducing them, being seduced by them, and falling in and out of love with them. I’ve hacked into rooms before but been disappointed. Pe

      I’m glad you like the phrase. Thank you so much for reading.

  5. Lovely post. I never knock. I simply try the doors everyday and when the doors are unlocked, I wander from room to room. On those days, the story breezes sweep me up and carry me off to the secret word vaults. Some days the doors are locked and I go home.

  6. Love this post! It reminds me of a “Peanuts” cartoon which reposed on the door of my fridge for years until it wore its way off one day and got swept away by the vacuum.

    In it, Lucy is leaning on Schroeder’s piano. Schroeder explains that the music is already “in there” and “you just gotta press the right keys to get it out …” I’ve loved that image for years and used it many times with my young students.

    A wonderful whimsical way to view keyboards … of all kinds!

  7. Since what you ‘type’ is ever so much more bejeweled and delicious than anything the Infinite Monkeys have the remotest hope of typing, I declare you to have unlocked the vault. Thanks for letting us follow you inside!

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