Tuesday, March 20, 2012

dreams do come true

i have to learn how to write happy. i really am at a loss. so many things are happening it is at times a whirlwind. i have a list of objectives and constantly cross them off and the list keeps filling up. this is just the beginning though. i have pitched my writing process workshop to a community center and it is presently being considered. this is part of that dream come true. just being able to be writerly every day of my life, every moment of my day, there is nothing like it.

one thing i am feeling though is an urge to write. to that end, i am making my biannual pilgrimage to create with the poets i have been retreating with for the past six years. i have missed about three of those sessions in that time, but hopefully now, all is settling into some kind of routine. though, to see my schedule, it doesn't appear that way.

there are other things i'm applying for and trying to get in to, journals, writing intensives, master classes. all of them to help add the beneficial stresses and tensions which will help me create my next poetry manuscript. as we sat in the manuscript class a couple of saturdays ago, we were asked the question,
would you repeat this class.
of course enthusiastic hands shot up and i just sat there like a deer in headlights. but i would, definitely, do it again. i understand that these writerly trials are what makes our work better, what keeps the fire burning so to speak.

i need better screens in my apartment, it's too hot to keep the place sealed up tight, and a fan in the window has produced a small black cloud of interlopers. summer is returning. with that, my longing for the beach. thursday is supposed to be beautiful, and i may just have to make a run for it.

that is, if i can cross a few more things off my list.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

spaced out

i just finished revising, for what feels like, the zillionth time, a manuscript i thought i would never revise. though saying that, i knew it needed more work when i left my master's program manuscript in hand. that manuscript has fallen away and what remains is stronger, cleaner, and captures what i do. i will spend the next calendar year sending out this work for traditional publication. when that happens, i will rejoice. if it do not, i shall selfpublish it and move on to the next manuscript. publication has never been a big issue with me. traditional or not, it will be published by next year. amen.

the issues i finally resolved with this latest draft were my spacing issues. going through each space, poem by poem, and formatting them so they reflect the way i read the poems aloud. this took me every bit of three hours, possibly four this morning. it is a time consuming process. i'm glad it's done.

i had to deal with my use of Mdashes too, i found them to be redundant functions of the spaces, but i only realized that after the hours of dealing with spaces, so i have eliminated those too. of the punctuation that remains in my manuscript, only colons, an explanation mark, and apostrophes remain. save epigraphs, true punctuation is preserved as used by others.

it had been a long time i'd wanted to extract punctuation from my works. i have begun that process here, but there, there it is complete. now, we'll see how it plays out.

i look forward to the next manuscript, the next book, the major projects lining up on my horizon. this one has been years in the making and i'm ready for the next venture.

Friday, March 16, 2012


recently i found myself seeing familiar patterns in my life. seeing things recur that i wished would stop. i am tired of them. so i found my way to a group meeting which espouses steps. the first week i went merely to pass the time. i had hurt myself in yoga and was taking a two week break. the language of the program stated,
come to six consecutive meetings.
and so i decided to make that commitment.

four weeks into my obligation, i decide to do more intensive reading. the handouts and things i have received are lovely, but i like to delve into things. to explore,
since i'm here for six weeks, why not.
and so i did. i sat down at a coffee shop one morning, intent on working the program. then i read the language of the first step.

we admitted we were powerless...

whoa, wait, what?


i can't admit that. so i kept reading. the questions posed in the work book went on and on about how life has become unmanageable, how the person doing the work needs control. and there are not many things i profess to know, but that i don't need control (or even want control in most situations) is one of them. that my life is not unmanageable is another.

so i sat there and stared at the book. i couldn't even pretend to admit any of that.

i have struggled so long, for so many years to come to terms with my power. to own my power. back in the day, i remember watching a movie about writers (the name will come to me) and there was a quote that i jotted around the borders of the book i was reading. that book was women who run with the wolves. the power book. i remember when i first read that book, how i told the man who recommended it to me that
i felt like he had given me my femininity back.
i'm sure he had no idea why i would say such a thing, but he had been reading my poetry and knew the broader strokes of my story to that point.

i won't dig out the film version of the quote because i believe it is misattributed but was actually written by marianne williamson:
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, who am i to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of god. your playing small does not serve the world. there's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. we were born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us. it's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

the dread consequence of posting my thoughts and struggles here is that someone will see them and think less of me. i have no time for that now. i had no time for that then, that's why i do this. that's why i write. i know nothing if not confession cures the soul. and i may not know how to navigate the meetings i'm going to now that the language has become the greatest barrier, but i am trying.

so as i have said to many people i've spoken to about this.
i do not believe we are powerless. i do not believe even the most cracked out person who finds themselves in a program is powerless, it was their choice that brought them to the program. that is not powerlessness. i will admit to misapplying my power, even to giving it away at times. but never to being powerless. i cannot.

this is a struggle for me because words are power. words are intent calcified into character. that sentence bears more truth than even i realize at this moment. as i move forward in my life, i am learning to wield my power, not to laying it aside. this is a process that has just come full circle. before i might not even have stalled momentarily on step one. now, it is insurmountable. and i stand at the foot and say,
okay step one, we are going to have to reconcile this somehow.

but how.

as i am fond of saying, i do not know. i am willing to be enlightened. i am always willing to grow. to be shown the way. so, i look with eager eyes to the horizon, not knowing how this will play out, only that, indeed it shall.

Monday, March 12, 2012

life and loss

there have been so many losses, life is littered with them. we cannot avoid them. and today is no different. this time in the form of a cat i loved who was hit by a car. i won't play the melodrama card, but i will say this. the last time he was sitting in my apartment, i just looked him over with love, because he had this white triangle on his nose, white tipped paws, and a white chest, which made him look like he was wearing a vest. i know life is brief, but it was a good day yesterday. my neighbor didn't tell me she found him until today and i am grateful.

i was exhausted when i finally returned home, the day was packed with new friends. my girl and i were content and happy having had a full weekend. life seemed (and is) good. this afternoon, when my girl gets home from school i will tell her the sad news. the neighbor has the cat and we will take a moment to bury him. everyone deserves a burial. to have loved ones note their passing. i will note his, each morning when he doesn't turn up for a meal. each day when he doesn't greet me at my car when i arrive home. i will note his absence deeply. over the coming months, i will remember him. that's how it works.

i saw beautiful things yesterday. a cooper's hawk swooped over my car. a gorgeous waterfall. the kindness of friends.

death comes to us all, these reminders are timely, whenever they come. and i am grateful to have shared his love, his life. and now i will let him go. i understand how to let go. it is just a process of time.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


today is the first of my grams' three proclaimed birthdays. my daughter's falls between the days, on her one unclaimed birth day. then next week, mine and my sister's back to back. my girl will be fifteen, and i almost three times that. i love my age. i am enjoying my life every day.

the critique group loved what i did with my manuscript. it's curious to see the change, but it translated well, my hard work paid off, and for that i am grateful. i didn't give up, in fact i made the manuscript more my own than it was before. cleaning up bits of clutter. it was not that hard once i decided what to do, in fact, i enjoyed it. i just didn't know if they would get it, but they did.

are we the source of our reality. is what comes to us something we determine. are we creators or just stumbling along blindly on the path set before us. what part does fate and mercy play.

some manner of all these questions has been swirling around in my noodle for some time now. i cannot reconcile them, i just try to believe. that goodness prevails, that heartbreak doesn't last forever, that ultimately love triumphs. these are what have kept me going. there is joy to be had and i will have it.

last night i sat with a couple ladies and told them about my koala theory. they laughed. recap:
sometimes i get to wondering if i'm delusional. if relationships can actually be good. and yes, i believe they can. i still believe they can. i have never seen a functional relationship up close, but that doesn't mean i don't believe they exist. i've never seen a koala up close, but i believe they exist. this is no different.

i told them,
i will experience one, or both, before i die!
and they laughed.

it's good to laugh. to learn. to grow.

good things are coming my way, i can feel it. and i welcome them.