Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wishing and the End of Wishing

(During the holidays, I wrote a Christmas song for atheists and then was too shy to sing it because I thought it might hurt people's feelings. Then, this star was all lit up and everyone was happy.)

(Lucas and I hiked a lot and found this bridge for magical things. Also, so many mushrooms coming out of the ground like winter blossoms. There was lots of crossing. Lots of leaping. Last year, this season, it was C's last Christmas. It was really hard on all of us. But she was lovely and full-hearted. I miss her.)

(When you examine broken things, sometimes they stop looking broken all together. They look like something else more beautiful, more powerful. The motor of this life goes on and sometimes hums long after it has stopped doing what we expect it to do. Our machines are made for so many wonderful things.)

(Sometimes things get so swirly and tumbley. My limbs are part atmosphere! If I go under, I will be pulled up by you. Or we'll just go under together. There are instructions everywhere. Keep turning upside down and right side up again. Make a circle of yourself. Make a wish.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rules for Walking

When I was growing up, just a few feet from the back of our house, all these wonderful meadows and woods sprawled out and upwards. I'd go for long walks by myself, with Cyrus, or Sarah, but mainly with our labrador, Dusty. We'd walk for hours. Since I've been back home, I've been doing long hikes in that same area. It might be one of my favorite places in the shire. I've been listening to audio books and also, just listening to the sounds of the valley. I've come up with a new idea for a young adult series of books based around these woods. More on that...once I write it. For now, the novel is in chapter 7 and moving along slowly but surely.

In Brenda Ueland's, "If You Want to Write," which is a helpful book (albeit a bit archaic), she says this about nurturing the creative spirit: “I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”

I also love this one: “So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."

And so I do. (And, as someone who has not had the luxury of writing full-time until now, I am grateful every day for this little carved out space. I only hope I can keep carving it out.)

Rules for Walking:

(First you will encounter a great oak. Here, you must listen carefully and lay down your worried brain.)

(Then, you must rub the soft dark bark of the manzanita tree three times for luck.)

(When you come to the reservoir and see the stones, practice gratitude (and also worry a little and then stop worrying.))

(When you can see the mountains of the valley, think of yourself as a real animal.)

(Where all the low hanging oak branches drop their grandfather's moss, get just a little lost.)

(When you climb down to the creek, this is surrender and dissolve. Also, remember the dog you had growing up, throw a stone in for her.)

(Think of everyone you love and blow them a kiss.)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Fall to Earth

I keep falling and falling to earth. Through it, even. Soft ground and air so cold you could stand on it. You're here. And there are trees. And inside our small cabin we're writing things and staring off into space, which is really a wall, but we call it space. December, I love you.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday: Wintering

Still snowing in Lexington, and it's so beautiful. It's allowing me to catch up on poems and correspondence. I'm deep in chapter 5 of the novel and I am enjoying the absolute mystery of fiction.

I have three new poems up on Connotation Press, two are about horses, and two have smoking pot in them, but none of them have horses smoking pot.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, someone wrote this lovely review of Sharks in the Rivers. It's up at Flotsam. Wow, thank you.

Now, new poems on the rise and I'm unwinding into winter. May the tunnel of cold we are entering into, allow a little opening time to write.

"Oh, come! Renew in us the ancient wonder,
The grace of life, its courage, and its joy!
Weave us those garlands nothing can destroy!
Come! with your radiant eyes! — with your throats of thunder!"

Invocation to the Muses, Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Kentucky Snow!

Haiku for Men Shoveling Snow

The shovel suits you,
its pow against the snow light,
how you lift the day.