A Locked Box

I have had an idea for a while now. It is an unconventional idea, but something that I think would be inspiring. I’m not sure where I would find the courage to accomplish it, but it constantly comes to my mind as a grand thought.

It all started when Antonia showed up at her house with a chest that she had purchased at the flea market. This particular chest had a lock on the outside, and mysterious objects on the inside. The only thing was, there was no key. We shook the box around trying to guess at what might be inside, and then, having made our predictions, Antonia proceeded to break the lock. It took some time, but eventually we were able to open it. Slowly we lifted the lid, and there on the bottom lay an array of priceless treasures: a sketchpad; a flower press; loose pages of poetry; a book about architecture; and a journal.

Of these I was most intrigued by the journal. I stared at it in wonder. A man had secretly passed his words along in a locked box.

This sparked my creativity. At home I have over 30 filled journals from the past 10 years and as I thought on this the ‘what if’s’ began. What if I secretly distributed my journals? What if I donated them, one by one, to used bookstores? What if I put some in locked boxes and sold them without the keys? What if I passed my words along unknowingly for people to find? Would people be inspired? Would people throw them out? Or should I just save these journals for my future children/grandchildren (if I am so blessed) to hold on to? How should my words be inherited?

So many questions, and yet one overarching theme: inheritance. Isn’t that what writing is all about? We write that others might imagine. We write that others might be inspired. We write that others might find a bit of themselves in our story. We long that our words might be inherited. That our story might be passed on.

This is why we write. This is why we stay up late and rise early. This is why we jot down our thoughts, and sketch out our ideas constantly. This is why we sacrifice so much and pour ourselves out on the page.

Not simply for the sake of writing, of becoming a better writer, or of bettering ourselves. We write that our investment might one day be worth inheriting.



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About Jeremiah Dowling

I write poetry and take crazy pictures in an Orange Chair all over the United States while reading amazing books.

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