Monday, March 29, 2010

Shanna made me do it!

Well, I just signed up to do the Read Write Poem challenge for April - National Poetry Month!  So I've committed to writing a poem a day for the entire month - or be committed, whichever comes first. Thanks Shanna!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thinky time

Lately I've been thinking a lot about writing. About why I do it and how I do it. What I do with it. I have stuff saved in boxes and files, in loose piles of papers, on various digital repositories. Any organization that could be detected is haphazard at best. I have my journals on a shelf by my desk. Sometimes I look at them. Sometimes I think I should probably just burn them. There was a period of time in the last ten years where I used those blank books to exorcise my demons. Sometimes it's pretty scary going back in and looking at the off-kilter excavations of my soul that fill those pages. But every time I think about doing that - maybe concocting some ritual to see those tortured words off into the ethereal nothingness - I pause. And do nothing.

It's not that I think there is anything great there, in fact, most of it is pretty horrible. And it's not like I want anyone reading it - though I did insist my husband read some of it back then - only because I couldn't speak what was written on those pages, and he needed to know what was going on with me. Can you say "nervous breakdown?" But I cringe to think of my kids reading them, or friends, or family. Or strangers.

So, why do I keep them? Why do I keep anything?

Have you ever seen one of those Tibetan sand mandalas? They are exquisitely beautiful, painstakingly created, and then destroyed. Ephemeral. Are they more lovely because they're fleeting? Ah, but we can take a picture and still be able to see it, right? What about words?

As I mentioned a week or so ago, the subject of what do do with one's writings is something that I ponder, especially now that I'm writing things that I'm not necessarily comfortable sharing with everyone. And that's probably the case for many writers. What might happen to our words when we are no longer around to care for them?

Are the words we leave behind of any value to anyone besides ourselves? What if what we have written is not looked kindly upon, maybe even in fear, by those that gain possession? Words, ones that may have great meaning for someone, could be lost. I am forever thankful to friends who weren't as diligent about cleaning up their email and were able to send me some of a late friend's poems. Some of those words had spoken so deeply to me, that I was bereft at having lost them (I had just the week before gone on a "housekeeping" binge and said to myself "why do I need these emails?" - little did I know). Oh, I wish this friend was still around, still writing. But I am glad to have some of his words still.

I could go on and on - my brain gets into a spiral and there seems to be no way out of this line of thinking. And yeah, I didn't answer any of my own questions.

Here are a couple of things I found that were interesting:

So, what are your thoughts on the preservation of words? Do you think about this as much as I do?

*note: that picture was taken on this past Sunday while I did some writing up in Maine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Vernal Equinox!

First day of Spring. Maine. Patches of snow. Sunny. Warm. A butterfly! Mild breeze. My writing cabin staked out. Time to celebrate! Spring. Sun. Kisses. A moss-covered boulder. An orgasm. 'Tis a good omen for the year to come.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just a poem

The Nickname

It's missing, the actual email.
The one before it and after, saved.
Both sent the same day.
So I do know when. But I can't look
at it and remember.
But I remember.
So clever. Memorable.
I was thrilled. Nobody
had ever given me a nickname
before. Oh, I'd been called names,
but no sobriquet, used with affection.
So, without knowing it, she named
a part of me that had long been living
in the shadows, afraid, ashamed. In that naming,
came strength, a braveness that had not known
the light of day.
Tonight, on the eve of the anniversary
of her leave-taking, I think of her. Miss her.
She knew there was only one.

No time to flesh it out - yet

Yeah, I promised a blog post, but life is not cooperating, so hopefully later today, maybe tomorrow? But in the meantime, I wanted to put this out there. This Thursday I'm going into NYC to go to In The Flesh - if any of the half dozen or so regular readers of this blog out there are going, I'd love to say hi, so let me know.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog tease

The past two days as I tried to figure out what I would post about on my blog this week, I couldn't think of anything that really fired me up. Today, at a writer's group meeting, I got a great idea, and it fits with something I read this week, but I honestly do not have time to sit down and write it! So damn frustrating!!!

So, this here's a little teaser...

Do you care what happens to your writings (published and un, including personal journals) after you're gone? Burn them? Have them published? Not that you (or I) are "going anywhere" - but today a friend said she's been "editing" her journals - and that floored me for so many reasons, and I want to blog about it (but there's that time thing), but on Monday.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Growing Pains

Last night I sat down and tried to write a blog post. Didn't have any luck. It was like coming face-to-face with a brick wall. The problem wasn't that I didn't know what to write about. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. But I couldn't. There was that damn brick wall. Tall and solid. Blocking my way. I didn't want to ignore it and turn back. I'm done with turning back. How to get to the other side? Wrecking ball or creeping vine? Well, I tried the wrecking ball - typing and deleting, typing and deleting. But that was one pretty damn tough wall. So, I shut down my computer, watched a movie with the Mr., woke up in a better place, took a walk on this spring tease of a day, and now, here I am. A vine.

Since I started this blog in December 2008, I have gone through so many changes (if you actually want to read all those posts, read them in order starting with I - and more power to you!). Some of those changes I wish I'd not had to go through (the passing of friends), but even those losses, as painful as anything could be, have caused me to grow. Soon it will be one year since losing the friend that gave me the nickname Erobintica. And writing this post has clarified what that brick wall was built of. 

This past Thursday I met a friend at Starbucks. We used to get together often - now we rarely see each other. We've been friends for seventeen years (our sons are the same age and we met when we were both pregnant). She does not know about Erobintica or any of her activities. I've wanted to tell this friend a number of times, but have always hesitated and watched the moment slip away. I can't go into the reasons why without saying more about her than I wish to in this public place. I've told many other friends and so far there's been no backlash - at least that I can detect. Some friends come and check it out, others don't, most don't say anything, some actually post comments. My grown daughters know though they've never asked for a link. They both know this friend and say my fears are needless. But still, I chickened out once again.

And this hurts. Because this Erobintica part of me has been instrumental in my growth. Since starting down this path, I've experienced what it feels like to really be comfortable in my own skin. After having spent most of a lifetime trying to reject this essential part of my soul, I've finally come to accept it. And I want others to accept it too. But some may not. 

And I've caused pain. No two people grow at the same rate. Sometimes the fear gets the better of me and I think that maybe I should give up on all this in order to maintain the status quo. But I can't. I just can't. So, I just have to trust in growth. We watch two children grow together, one taller, then the other, and know that both will eventually get to be just as tall as they will be. In actuality, I'm short. I'll never have the legs I've always wanted. But I can have the spirit I've always wanted. 

So, I'm not sure where that brings me. These days I'm doing things that surprise many folks. And while there is still a little pang of oh no what have I done?, for the most part, I'm at peace with my choices, even if those choices may meet with disapproval. I've been working on a post for the blog F-Stop: Expose the Naked I. Mr. E. has been taking the photos. It's been a trip and a half. Not sure when it'll be finished or when it will run. But when it does, I know I will have grown some more.