I have had a few poems lucky enough to land in journals the past few months. If you’d like to read them, here are some links:
I’ve been thinking a lot on this restlessness I feel about writing. It never really goes away–I tell myself, “I have 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5) kids now, it is high time I quit writing” but I can’t. And why? My work is not what I want it to be. It isn’t because of lack of writing time (though, seriously, I am home with 4 kids, ages 1-7 and I homeschool and my husband works long hours), or space or support. It is because of lack of talent. I am just not as good as I wish I was.
I was reading The Fish the other day, the classic anthologized Elizabeth Bishop poem, and it is just so good. And I read Crossing the Water by Sylvia Plath (the book before Ariel–I like this one better for some reason, though its considered transitional), and it is so very good. Listening to the Daily Poem podcast, they played Mending Wall by Robert Frost — as anthologized and read and reread as it is, it is so good and worth reading and rereading. I want to write poetry like that! Like Robert Lowell and Louise Gluck, Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson.
I don’t want to be famous–I don’t even care if I write these poems and only my family reads them. But I want to be able to write. those. poems.
How do I get there? Chances are, my talent has taken me about as far as it goes and I’ll only get better in little increments, never reaching the lofty heights of a truly great poet like the ones I so very much wish I could write like.
But maybe that is ok, and that is what drives me to keep writing–the tension between what I can create and what I envision creating.
I’m reading The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, a productivity book that has been on my to-read list since it came out. Its about finding time for your passions and for yourself amid busy seasons of life, motherhood, work, etc. In the first section, she urges the reader to identify what may keep a person from making time for herself (guilt, busyness, etc), and the next section deals with discovering what one’s passions are.
I almost skipped this part because my passions are reading and writing, always. What did I love to do as a child? 1) read 2) write. ( 3) be alone!)
I remember going to the school library and the teacher would lead us to our age-level section, then look at me and tell me I could go wherever because she knew I was bored. Not that I was unusually anything, I just really liked to read and spent more time doing it than a lot of kids my age.
So when I thought through this section, I wasn’t surprised to note reading/writing as my passion. But another one that I had forgotten about was the outdoors. I was CONSTANTLY outside as a kid (usually in a tree or in the woods). I loved being outside in the fields by myself, riding bikes down country roads by myself (my goodness how dangerous nowadays), looking at leaves and trees and streams by myself.
This is one passion of mine that I have utterly neglected. Now I only go outside if its with the children and I’m so busy keeping up with them I hardly notice what is around me.
So I’d like to make more time to get out in nature. Taking walks alone outside everyday would be my ultimate goal, though I’m not sure how I’ll make that happen yet. I’d like to take my family camping and hiking. I’d like my kids to love the forests and trails as much as I do. Maybe the rest of this book will help me figure out how to make this dream a reality!