I wanted to keep writing after the MFA
I wanted to give voice to my move from VA to CO
I wanted to explore nonfiction and essay and the unknown
I wanted to share? To be heard? To practice? To engage continuously in process?
To publicize that a little bit? To hold myself a little bit accountable?
I don’t know. All of those things are still true.
I didn’t write a memory a day this month. This month isn’t even over yet, but I faltered. I got sick for a week, I got hired to teach. I forgot how consuming it is to prepare for teaching. I remembered so much of what that feels like. I also learned what teaching in a brand new place and level feels like. The conflagration of old/new in nearly every moment.
I’m learning to rewire myself. The way I feel things, the way I think about things.
I wrote myself a couple of letters.
I didn’t get everything I needed in my childhood. Did anyone? I got a lot. But I didn’t know all that I needed until now. I’m not sure how to share this, or why. Or if.
So many days feel fruitless. I fell down the rabbit hole of social and news and allowed myself to watch video after senseless video in the days after Charlottesville. Then I pushed it all away. Then I feel guilt and shame. I feel fatigued by all this bad shit that goes on and then I know that’s how power works and how complacency is the desired result (mine). More guilt and shame. I think about what I can and can’t say to students. Politics is a stupid word and not even what this is. Do I want to know how they feel? I say the word community to them and look around for meaning (recognition) in their faces. Everything must have a reason or a purpose I say. Give me evidence. (Nothing has a reason, I think. Stupid words).
I look for poems. I point out clouds to my husband and tell him that one looks like a brain. He says that one looks like a Greek god’s beard.
I pet my dog for a long time and it is still not enough (for me, not him). I even push him away after a while and then go back to stare at him minutes later and wonder what he knows.
Since January 1 I’ve written down something every single day that I’m grateful for. I don’t know how many days it’s been. Am I happier for all this noticing and appreciation? All this.
I say only write couplets tonight. I say only post something profound. I say wow look at your ego! I say be less serious.
I go into nature periodically and step into my practice right away. I can’t breathe I’m slow I’m not good at this. I’m not good at what? Give me more of this. What happens out there, I’m bringing it inside. Turning toward myself. Crafting crappy sentences. This. I know there’s something there for me. I keep going back and struggling and fighting myself and feeling happy, after. I think this is probably my book, what’s happening there. The whole terrain of intimacy and appreciation and struggle spread out before me.
I ask my students to write about self-reflection. What is it for. They mostly tell me it’s when they think about how to improve themselves. I say what if you suspend that. What if you just chew on stuff a little bit. See what happens there.