Why I Write

There be wolves out there — dangerous creatures beyond the boundaries created by the should-bes: what a good girl should be what a woman should be what a person should be what a good girl would write. Or so the story I heard growing up was told.

Then there was the summer, over twenty years ago, when I first started freelancing. “I just want to keep the wolf from the door, I just want to keep the wolf from the door, I just want to keep the wolf from the door,” I would shout as job after job fell through, until finally someone asked, “Why don’t you invite him in?”

And so I did. He had dark brown eyes–wolfeyes–wore a very elegant tuxedo and sat down at my dining table without so much as a by-your-leave and began sipping espresso from a demi-tasse.

I was outraged. “How,” I very nearly shouted at him, “can you sit there sipping espresso without a care in the world when I worry about how to pay the rent, put food on my table, keep clothes on my back?!!”

His tail lightly brushed across the floor as he poured a spoonful of sugar into his cup, stirred slowly and replied, “Don’t you know everyone worries about those things?”

Well, that had never occurred to me. And sure enough, I got a job the next week.

Two months later, a dog who was part wolf wandered into my life. With just a bit of negotiation, we agreed that I would be his human and he would be my wolfdog. And so it was for five years.

Until a tumor appeared on his vena cava. All I could think was that I wanted to keep my wolf from the door. I did not want him to leave. Not now. Not so soon.

But he died two days later anyway. Because that was as it should be.

There be wolves out there. And there be wolves in here. And the should-bes have nothing to do with being a good girl good woman keeping the world safe for what we would like it to be. Rather it is about being. And being willing to embrace life as it is and letting love transform us as it passes through us.

We are spirits learning to be human. And so I write.

To new stories
~Karen Hogan

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