My dear and lovely lady, what were you thinking as the gifted portraitist lifted his brush? Centuries after he rendered your fair countenance on that wet plastered Pompeii wall, I see you, and wonder at your hesitance. You are a writer, contemplating . . . something.
Are you uncertain?
But, as a writer, that’s to be expected of you, yes? Uncertainty niggles: the perpetual itch we writers can not scratch; the incessant whispers: What shall we write? Who might read it? What will they think of our stories? Of us? Is our writing good? Is it good enough? Uncertainty shadows the path we’ve taken, not knowing where it leads or to what end.
You are uncertain, maybe. Thoughtful, for sure. What were you thinking, you who breathed so many centuries ago? I imagine you had dreams and aspirations to be a writer. To write. Were you successful? Did your ideas, your words, find their way from heart to mind to hand; and if they did, have they survived the weary trek across millennia, as has your lovely portrait? Or were they, and you, lost to the ages or worse, did Mount Vesuvius cause your death and lay your ashen shroud?
Perish the thought, my lady! I truly hope your life was happy, long, and full. I hope you found your muse and realized your dreams. I hope your words were written and read, well-received and long remembered. Perhaps they’ve found their way to us, as you have.
I hope. Because one never knows when quiet dreams will bear fruit, make an impression. Two thousand years you sat before an artist in contemplation. Perhaps uncertain, wondering: What shall I write, who will read it, will it matter?
And now, a fellow writer sits before you, bearing witness. Even as she wonders the same.