Wednesday, May 13, 2020

finding the way back in

This morning I was once again awake unusually early.  Or maybe now it's becoming the usual early.  I will be ready to nap a couple more hours this afternoon before I settle in to other paid work, no doubt, but as such, I took it as an excellent time to try to wedge in some writing related tasks that have not been a priority.  Or maybe that is an understatement. Mostly since those things have not (in the mode of creeping panic, social media scrolling, survival, library work, press orders, etc. ) even been in my thoughts much at all.  But then maybe that too is not an entirely correct statement.  The lack of them has perhaps been in my thoughts. Or maybe a small (or large) bit of almost resentfulness toward it. Not the writing itself, which when it's good can be quite enjoyable (I think.).  But the "world of poetry" and the futility of believing in words. Of finding myself feeling unstable and vulnerable, and then blaming this creative life for not having stability, of stringing things together in this precarious time.  The what if monster.  Has living a creative life made me happier or has it just made me vulnerable.?  Months ago, I would have given you one answer, but I've been thinking about the other.  Not just me, but all of us. Surely, non-creative lives are also vulnerable, with none of the perks. But I watch enough people struggle around me, and feel my own creeping unease, and it's hard to make poetry matter.  It's also hard to imagine yourself in a trauma situation when things are so cozy and relatively comfortable, but while things are okay and I am lucky that I can both work from home and that I (for now anyway) have work to do, but even low-key traumatic situations are still traumatic.

This space, obviously,  has actually been very useful from a therapeutic stance, and I feel like that is still important. The writing out as a tool to think things out. I always think of that  famous quote from Flannery O'Connor about not knowing what she things until she reads what she writes.   But poems and more creative work? Does the world need poems right now?  Do I feel like it's important to write them? I don't have answers here, but, again, I'm hoping to fake enthusiasm til I make it. So this morning found me opening up the document for my dark country manuscript, which is mostly finished, but needs a little fine tuning in terms of ordering sections and a good proofing.  I have no plans to send it out, not exactly, since now is not the time to be squandering money on entry fees (if ever is a good time to be doing that.)   But I would like to have it in the finished category, especially since the subsequent (animal, vegetable, monster) is lapping at its heels. While I set goals in January to get these both under wraps, we are midway through the year and I have a hard time even caring about the goals I set at the beginning of 2020, any of them, but particularly the ones related to poetry

But I opened the document at least and fiddled with it a little.  Then drafted another Shining poem quickly and closed it before I deleted it and will look again tomorrow and see if I like it more.  Then sent a couple extinction event pieces off to a journal because I would really like to start sharing those. It's feeling a little like putting one foot in front of the other, but I will keep doing it and hope it sticks.

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