Thursday, September 29, 2011

they are the way they are

"Living Things"
by Anne Porter

Our poems
Are like the wart-hogs
In the zoo
It's hard to say
Why there should be such creatures

But once our life gets into them
As sometimes happens
Our poems
Turn into living things
And there's no arguing
With living things
They are
The way they are

Our poems
May be rough
Or delicate
Or great

But always
They have inside them
A confluence of cries
And secret languages

And always
They are improvident
And free
They keep
A kind of Sabbath

Emphasis mine; published today on Writer's Alamanc

Thursday, September 8, 2011

wise advice

Whatever kind of artist you may consider yourself, I recommend welcoming this thing that inspires with a decent place to be. Put water, vitamins, leafy greens into your body. Apples. Oats. Get plenty of sleep. Some exercise. Keep the company of wise and more or less sober people. Don’t smoke. Don’t watch TV. Do trust yourself. Especially when you’re honest with yourself, forgive yourself. Listen to your heart. Consider what it means to be an elder, then find one or two, and listen to them. - Bonnie Nadzam

I love this advice that advocates for a sense of order and well-being our internal places -- in our organs and cells, in our minds and in our hearts.

I'm finishing up my writing class today. The completion of it feels like cresting a mountain and finding a chasm to cross -- a tremendous accomplishment met by a great unknown. That might sound dramatic -- it was only a class. But it was an incredibly empowering experience for me. It provided needed discipline and insightful instruction, and most importantly, it forced me to be honest with myself about my desires. I'm so very grateful for what I've learned and what I've written and for the people who so generously provided feedback and no small amount of cheer-leading.

But what next? That's the big amorphous question. For now, I'm going to start with what Ms. Nadzam suggests above as well as working hard to develop a regular habit and taking the advice of Sandra Cisneros (via my writing instructor) who says to say Yes to everything. And hopefully posting more here.