Tag Archives: poetry

Turning

night time highway

At best I’m a scattered mess.

I’m reasonably comfortable admitting this now.

I’m not even sure what this post is really about, but woke up this morning feeling that it was time to get back to writing…any writing…even if it is just a rambling blog post.  I pulled out a stack of old journals, sifted through snippets of poems, giggled, and traced through a rather mixed up geography of thoughts.  

13 moves in 6 years.  21 moves in total.  Do I have just a terrible case of wanderlust?  Not really.  The moving and constant uprooting does little to satisfy my urge to explore and rather counter-productively destroys all funds and time for real adventure.  It is to the point now where I can barely tell the difference between an old familiar place and a new one.  

2009.  The year I turned 30.  The months leading up to my 30th birthday I was a madhouse of writing.  (and perhaps even an actual madwoman…but why dwell!).   Journals that I had failed to fill for years suddenly ran out of room.  I house sat a big old place on a hill with a 180 acre view and something about that space, two summers of being a caretaker at a cabin (and a decision to not simply jump at the first urge to flee) allowed me the space to write.  But my inability to secure long term employment and housing meant everything (including emotions) remained in boxes.  Labelled, but contents still vague and mysterious.

I feel I am starting to unpack now.  Figuratively.  Literally, I am still living in a rental which smells of stale cigarette smoke from the previous tenant and is punctuated daily with arguments and bad language from the other side of our paper thin walls.  But figuratively i am starting to pull out the necessary tools for some much delayed goal setting.  (and yes, top of that list is still ‘buy a house’ and ‘consider vacations instead of moving’).

Here is what appeared in my ‘year of turning 30’ journal titled:  30

a decade of knitting
gnawing at memories
picking nails

fidgeting from one foot to the other

passing time at being suspicious

or questioning
anything that doesn’t bite back

and even some things that do.

 

 

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ship wreck

alton mills window

I have since watched seasons turn, tended gardens,

And I understand that for new life to grow

What has long been held back, held in,

Must be released, set free, transformed,

Composted, returned.          (from Leaving by Claire Sylvan)

 

I was sifting through Claire’s beautiful book of poems called ‘Turnings’ and this snippet from her poem ‘Leaving’ pulled me in and put words to a feeling I have been nestling for some time.

Strange how the other day the prospect of being offered a good job with a regular salary and Monday to Friday hours brought sadness instead of joy.  As if, instead of watching an opportunity unfurl, I was seeing the blinds be drawn on the window.  And I knew then that I needed to pay attention to that feeling.

I have been more silent this year.  Withdrawn.  A small ship wreck of my former self.  And i’ve allowed myself, for once, to simply sit with this for awhile and watch what comes back to shore.  To not jump at the first chance of change.  All too often I grab for the first thing that looks like a life jacket, only weeks or months later to discover it is the same piece of driftwood that i’ve been narrowly clinging to for years.

I have spent a lot of time worrying about what other people think or trying to achieve what someone else wants for me.  I’ve noticed that when I do put words to the things I want they are often shoved down.  Irresponsible.  Eccentric.  Too many ideas.  Too little focus.  Flighty.  Indecisive.  Not whole.

I’m ready now to start transforming the judgments I have picked up.  They do not come from me and don’t belong here.  Responsive.  Creative.  A wealth of ideas.  Outside the box.  Adventurous.  Decisive.  Whole.

I’ve worked hard this past year.  And instead of focusing on the isolation, the exhaustion, the sense of having given too much…I want to focus on the solitude, the rest, the sense that I can now

point to what i want (by virtue of knowing what I don’t want).

I was recently asked in an interview to describe my dream job.  What came out of my mouth was what they wanted to hear.  That is, after all, what we have been told to do in an interview.  But I’m spitting up truth these days when I least expect it.  I asked myself that very same question when I got home.  Naturally, I had a different answer.

Now the question is whether or not I am going to listen to and follow that truth.

What I would like to do with 2013:

  • develop a creative writing e-course and eventually expand that to a series of retreats.  An opportunity to engage people to seek and speak their truth, their story through a series of guided activities and writing exercises.  the kind of writing that will feel like invasive surgery, an embrace and a warm cup of cider (all at the same time)
  • craft.  create.  and sell little bits of beauty.
  • write.  write.  write. and when i think it’s out:  edit.  edit.  edit.
  • sip tea.  sell tea.
  • finish the last bit of my 2nd personal trainer certification and study wellness coaching.

Moving Day

this shirt
once held meaning

perhaps i wore it on a trip
or a night when someone
set teeth into my heart

and now
wether a size too small or too large
torn or stained
i feel compelled to keep.

caught here in the hangers of my closet

my hear of losing ground
tokens that anchor me.

misplaced by sentimentality
things become the thieves of time
no place to hold what I can’t keep

each armload to the truck
a house for memories.

Anticipation

journal poetryI very rarely, if ever, share poems.  In fact, I realized the other day that I mostly operate as if I don’t write at all.  Over the last year there have been very few moments where I have opened up my journal.  So much so that when I went to go look for some poems to include in an upcoming anthology, I couldn’t even find where I had put my journals.  A few weekends ago I took a drive up to Haliburton and was able to join in on the writer’s circle that I used to participate in on a regular basis.  It was great to be back among the trees and the rocks and the lovely company of the circle.  Overlooking a gorgeous pond and with a fresh journal cracked open…I started to write again.  And over the last few weeks I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about writing, what it means to me and how much I miss this connection that for me seems to join in a peaceful way my internal life with the external.  Writing for me is very much a way of honouring the present and of being quite simply more mindful.  More hours in the day please…this girl wants to write.

Here is a draft of a poem I am still working on that I started at the circle a few weeks ago.

In Anticipation

a clump of hair decides to go
leaping by the root                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   from the back of my head

and 11 gray hairs are formed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                by my sour mouth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   declaration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that everything is much saltier                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       than it needs to be.

the getting by                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              has worn me down

and with great narrowness
‘the kind i used to despise’

I now greet each day
not as the potential last
but rather
as an unsavoury repetition
of the past