A freezing rain greets me as I accompany the trash carts to the end of the driveway. It tears my attention away from what I don’t remember. It feels good to feel the rain on my skin and how it forces me to move faster, look forward to being back inside, strip down to dry.
Yesterday I wrote a poem. I can count on two hands the number of poems I’ve written this year. A sad story compared to the sixty I wrote last year. Years from now when I look back on this moment, what will I think?
Not about the rain, or daylight savings ruining my morning drive, or how responsible my daughter is on this day.. her first at an office job. Or all these thoughts and steps and words. Or the numbers on a scale. Please, let it not be the numbers.
If I were patient and kind I might find that what I remember is how we held on tight to each other in 2020 when the world pressed down on us, compressing our lives softening boundaries, making them more easily punctured.
Maybe I won’t remember anything about today other than the fact that it was wholly unremarkable next to all the other unremarkable days. Which is why I need to be here, in this moment today, and just enjoy the rain.
Yesterday the week was kicked off with a good start. I felt fairly productive and In a fair mood. Today I’m hoping to keep things fair and balanced. I’d love to write another poem, that felt great. Of course I’ve got a full set list of chores and work I’d like to get through. Though having made my list on Sunday I can’t recall at the moment what’s on the agenda for today.
Two poems in my in-box each morning bring me something old and something new which are, more or less, mirrors of each other. The language and rhetoric of 2020 run together until they can’t be separated. It gives me a good sense of what is currently sought after. Unfortunately it’s not what I currently have to offer. Which only means I have more work to do.
When I mention work now, that’s what I mean. I’m more than a month out of the old kind of work. The kind my daughter just started at today. The scheduled hours, direct deposits, and doing something for someone else instead of yourself. It’s not that I don’t believe in that life, but now rather i start to come to terms with its Reason and value.
I’m now one month in with doing things for myself and my loved ones. It’s definitely a better life. I don’t miss “work” like some people said I would and am approaching the answer to that question.
You know the one I hated for years. “So what do you do?”
Instead of the monotone explanation of my job which leaves trails of glassed over eyes in my wake at parties, I can begin to describe how I work at being a better writer.
I can imagine the new scene at parties, the question, the chuckle, the follow up Sarcastic question, “how much does THAT pay?”
Me: It’s priceless.
Mic drop and walk away.
I’m currently studying the life and poetry of Adrienne Rich. She’s going to be one of the main persons discussed as a part of the lecture I’m giving during residency in December. As an added bonus, she’s a stellar role model for breaking out of a mould. I suppose that’s what makes her such a great candidate for my lecture.
When I wrote my craft paper in 3rd semester, the topic was the journey of the poetic voice but the paper was really focused more on the qualities of voice without a lot of definitive evidence about the actual journey in question. To be sure 3 out of the 4 poets I studied we’re not good candidates as they were still mostly at the beginning. Creeley was the only one that had lived his whole life where the body of work could be analyzed in full context of the events of his life and the world.
As I was only scratching the surface with that paper, I now must put in more work to learn what my lecture has to teach me. If I’m to be the expert, which is the expectation, then I’d better get down to business. I’m close to letting go of using anything from Creely or Merwin as I think focusing on female poets is key to getting me to a more impactful conclusion.
I’ve more to say on this topic, but I need to get on with my day. I’m definitely getting into the right zone though. Cheers to that.
And Cheers to Living in the Moment,