Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Wonder in Believing

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May we never become that poor soul who says, "Fairies don't exist." May some part of ourselves, however deeply buried, never grow up. Urge the child out on occasion and gasp at the wonder to be found in the moonrise and the sunset and the curls of the ocean wave.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Far Field

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Roethke's poem "The Far Field" remains one of my all-time favorite poems. Entire work HERE. You know, there are those few books or poems, out of the millions, that grab onto us so tightly that we just keep returning to them.

And the best of those contribute something and fresh new every time.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lost, With Purpose

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I have found myself in a wilderness. Story won't come. Neither purpose nor direction. My compass has stalled. A season of mental desert. Rather than wandering aimlessly, giving in to confusion, disorientation, fear and despair, I have chosen to be still and embrace this portion of the journey.

Instead of roaming the sands, scorched by a blazing sun and pricked by brittle brush underfoot, I sit in the shade of a great Tree and wait. Contemplating. Analyzing. Taking my own measure. Digging deep and finding how far I must go to find life-giving water. It is closer to the surface than I realized.

An asp lurks under the sand. It approaches unseen, but I hear its whispers. I must not listen. It speaks only lies. I slam my heel into the sand with a shout like a blade, and it flees. The breath, rustling in the leaves overhead, carries the truth. It is this, and only this, I must heed. I am no longer afraid.

This prolonged stillness may look like idleness, but it is hard work. My legs itch to run. My hands long to embrace a richer soil, my arms to swim in abundant water. But that is for later. This is my now.

I will be stronger when I walk out of here. Leaner. Purer. Perhaps even wiser.

In the meantime:  Do not panic. Pitch the tent. Gaze in awe upon unfettered stars and watch the sunrise ignite the dunes with roseate fire.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Happiest Retreat

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People who knew me when I was a child say I was given to writing anyway, but all I can remember is retreating into my imagination to hide. Usually from social situations I didn't know how to handle. Tension at home. Boredom in school. A mind palace. Isn't that what Sherlock calls it?

I guess it made me one of those strange children. A classmate told me, just before we graduated, that she avoided me because she thought I was weird. "You used to talk to yourself."

Mortification! Did I? Then I remembered. Yes. I was so bored in class that I had entertained myself by watching my favorite movies in my head and quoting my favorite lines. In a whisper. But still my mouth had to have been moving, and this apparently had not gone unnoticed. Luckily by senior year I had grown out of it, to the point that I couldn't remember ever having done it.

Embarrassing moments aside, the mental palace remains a place of refuge, not to ignore the world, but to process it in healthy ways that my emotions can handle.

And out of it is birthed Story.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Midnight Companions

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May sleep never desert us
but if it does
may we never be found

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lesson Learned

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To read and gain no depth, no new insight, no new wisdom makes for either a very poor book or a rather poor reader.

A few novels that have broadened my horizons:

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Help
The Joy Luck Club
The Book Thief
Angela's Ashes
The Woman Warrior
The Diary of Anne Frank
Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Why We Love Story

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The series that comes immediately to mind is N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth Trilogy. Stellar reads, all three. Explorations of heavy themes like racism, freedom, sacrifice, and consequences of messing with the planet, all in apolitical ways. Bald truth without preaching. Meaningful storytelling done right. The complex, convoluted, charged fuck-ups of history removed from real-world context and placed neatly into our laps in the form of a heartrending tale. Peel away the story's exquisite wrapping, and the author has challenged each reader to look directly at these approach-at-your-own-risk topics.

That's what the quote above means to me.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ignore Everything and Read

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Ignore the failures, the regrets, the undone tasks, the ineptitudes, the stressful relationships, and sink into another world. For a little while. Until the courage to face it all arises. And definitely voice gratitude for the opportunity to be quiet and still delve into words and, thereby, find a bit of healing.

Currently (re)reading: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Currently reading: A Thousand Miles Up The Nile

The latter is a bit of research. I'm seriously toying with the idea of moving the setting of Blackbird from England to Egypt, and Amelia Edwards' account is the perfect resource to study and glean tidbits from.