It’s been a long time since anyone told me what to do in a fall-in-line school-sense. Referring to tasks for education: write an essay on, create a theme poem, and that horror of horrors – edit.
Edit wasn’t well loved or even liked in my elementary, high or college schooling. (Or now, honestly.)
I loved to write and was under the impression that writing loved me. Otherwise, how could it have been so easy? Words came to me and I dispensed them exactly as channeled through my psyche.
Any type of art, once emerged and recorded, immerged to the deep. Catalystic inspiration filed, it was perfect as it was. Whatever the medium, it came out of me divined and that’s how it would stay. I learned the phrase ‘Artistic License,’ and adopted it, fully.
Young ego. I didn’t understand the art of finessing. Observing, tweaking, seeing it from another point of view – there just wasn’t room in my head. I was always on to the next creative.
April was National Poetry Month. University of Michigan LSA Institute for Humanities popped up with a program and challenge called Poetry Blast. 22 days of noon-time poetry reading by and daily prompts.
Prompts are demands. Uncomfortable commands to self- challenge. When it is no longer about urgent feelings or excited insight, it’s a struggle to combat insincerity with what may not be talent, after all.
So, 22 chances. 22 struggles. Limited outcomes, due to topic, timing. Some just straight-up, staring blanks of ‘I don’t get it.’
My total participation attempts yielded 6 submissions. Three of which, I think, are ridiculously weak, obviously forced. To my credit, I analyzed the situation and accepted the call-to summons as an opportunity. An uncomfortable opportunity to struggle, but that was the point of trying.
Interestingly, I have found my ‘natural’ cadence to be obvious and boring. Admittedly, at times, outright contrived and imitatingly trite. I’ve been working tweaks. One line in particular irked me as being too children’s picture book rhymey. Another, I fear for its honesty.
Some fall into failure, considering way-off prompt tangled-up tangents of skipping from topic to … an anomalytic abyss of deep click diving, one thing leads to another, but doesn’t fulfill the requirement.
In the same way that dusting a 15-year-old multiply-moved, semi-busted lampshade interrupts cleaning mode in favor of shopping for a new one and you end up with shoes.
Quote for the Week:
Background & Links:
Take a few minutes to listen to a poem! April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. This year, the Institute for the Humanities is joining the tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, in marking poetry’s important place in our lives. Every weekday at noon in April, our Youtube channel will feature a U-M faculty member reading one of their poems. See below for today’s featured poet.
On October 13, 2020, I told you this: Last week, someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.
There’s been a change in the playlist.
The internet loves challenges like I love music. It thrives on them. It discovers dozens each day. But, only a few are worth it.
Mmmm. Like this one. #blueoctober #movingon #challenge .
I prefer not to start in the middle, but in this case, urgence of participation (gasp) makes sense.
I’ve had the wrong song in my #1 will-do spot for decades. Not my fault.
The right song hadn’t been written, yet. Now, it has.
Moved out of the first slot: I’m Moving On.
I believe in this song. For many years, it’s been an anthem excuse of self-promising, a someday in-waiting. Not an action wanting.
A melancholy sing along, every time, where I want the words to be real. A prelude to the reach, wanting lets me waltz. Feelings play along with well-curated reels in my mind. I can picture it, but I can’t do exactly that.
Now seen for what I really want it to be: the after, the explainer. Not every line is perfect. Some are so false that I’ll address them, later.
Moving into First Place: Moving On, though, is a rearranger – an artfully arranged mind-matter mover with an oddly perfect, happy melody.
Brought to me by Tuesday Night Recovery. Live weekly sessions hosted by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, featuring steps and music and supports.
Yes, plural. Discussions, viewer comments, one-day-at-a-time preaching. I have no idea how I got God-smacked into this mecca of inclusive anonymous help, where my anti-social not-group-joining self can join-in and be communed, but unobserved.
If it hadn’t been explained, I never would have though it to be what it is. To the writer, it’s not a love gone-wrong song. It’s a get-out-of -my-life I am never going back to (insert vice here.) It’s a sterner, angrier, get off of my life, pulling away from the surround, bursting my own bubble song.
Reminded me so much of this. Re-capping, quickly; a grief therapy session, where someone else said something that clicked.
Discussing my already 8-year-old grief. “Sometimes, I can’t keep it in.” I admitted. “It. Just. Wants Out.”
“Well, what do you want?” was the question, asked.
Firmly answered, “I want it gone.” “So,” he astutely concluded. “You and your grief want the same thing.”
I have to move on. I’m not saying goodbye to you or our memories or our friendships or him.
I’m saying goodbye to my crippling 15-year-old cloak in full-on ‘What Not to Wear Style’. It’s coming with a cost though.
An emotionally expensive fear, which I have avoided (or so I thought) until now. Because moving on is terrifying and de-cloaking is soul exposing.
I’ve taken advantage of grief to be comfortable, to exist in solitary. Guaranteeing no furtherly inflicted love or loss.
I have no faith that things will be different in six months.
I have faith that I will be. Different. In six months, when my grief turns 15.
Blue October: two videos, because something worth doing is worth doing, again and again. One of them will speak to you. I’m sure.