Once you’ve been writing long enough, you start to recognize a few patterns and quirks in the creative process. Self-awareness helps some, too.
If I am struggling with prose—my preference—it’s often because the problem turning over in my mind is bigger than paragraphs can contain or explain.
Poetry is what comes out. Surrendering and letting the shit make no sense [a popular criticism of poetry] results in the sharpest clarity. Ironic, but true. For me, anyway.
Like William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor said, ‘I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.’
two whole souls
under my skin now and
I have never felt more alone
When I finally learned the whereabouts of my mother, after 10 years of no contact, I was pregnant. And things started looking different.
Many of us gain new perspective on our mom-as-human once we audition for that same role, and I was no different. But my perspective was more distant, and probably more melancholy. How do you thank someone for your existence—and say hi, remember me?—at the same time? Like this, I guess.
There is a certainty to keeping something secret. Once you share it, it can take on a life of it’s own. Better to keep it sealed up, cello-wrapped in opaque plastic—preferably in black, you know, if it’s handy—sterilized and safe.
Of laundry. Of dishes. Of diapers.
In those diapers…piles of poo.
Piles of dust. Of crumbs. Of toys.
Sometimes even piles of puke, when the dog is involved. Puddles when it’s the baby.
There are the piles of bills, of mail, of receipts and lists and junk.
Then come the piles of worries and fears, musts and don’t forget’s.
My life has been reduced to piles, real and metaphorical. My only wish is that, while emptying the dishwasher or sweeping out the kitchen, I stumble upon piles not mentioned here. Like, say, cash. Or sanity. I’d even settle for silly old handwritten letters. They’d be anonymous, maybe, but say all the encouraging things I need to sort through all my other piles with love and optimism. Or maybe just…
Keep it up. You’re doing fine.