Why? Why else.

Welcome to the first Monday of DST Disrupted Sleepy Time. I hate Daylight Savings Time like I hate the Designated Hitter. SO. MUCH. They’re both unnatural and neither accomplishes the purpose for which they were respectively designed. Unless you can show me a designated hitter with a 1.000 batting average, and a pitcher whose batting average is .000, the DH rule does not “fix” the problem it was designed to fix. No. You may not argue this point with me. Besides this post is about DST, the scourge of modern life. One of them, anyway.

The first Monday after we, like a bunch of lumpy-headed lemmings, turn our clocks ahead one hour is widely known as “Sleepy Monday.” In my house we experience the less widely known “Psychotic Sunday” the day before “Sleepy Monday,” and, boy, is it a hoot. Most of the day is spent by me giving voice to how badly DST is going to mess up my life for the foreseeable future, and overusing phrases like, “It’s science, bitches.”

Continue reading “Why? Why else.”

The Ultimate Illusion

What do you think the ultimate illusion is? I recently referred to control as the ultimate illusion. In the days since, I’ve changed my mind. Control isn’t so much the ultimate illusion as it is a kind of paradox. There are things over which we have some control, but I doubt we really can ever know the extent of that control. There are other things over which we only appear to have control. Finally, there are things over which we definitely do not have control. The events and encounters that fill our daily lives all fall into one of these three categories, but I submit those categorizations change all the time — whether daily, hourly, or by the second.

I’m always fascinated by hearing or reading artists, writers, and other creatives discuss their process. Everyone wants to know, “What is your process?” I’m amazed and a little curious when the process described is assumed by the audience to be always the same. I’m even more curious when the process described is presented by the artist as being always the same. Same time of day, same amount of time a day, same desk, same chair, same window. I’m amazed because that isn’t how process happens for me. To my way of thinking that isn’t process, so much as it is routine.

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The Work of Being Dormant

Before January, I had been absent from my own work for a little over a year. I bowed out of my poetry group for most of 2019. I rarely went into my office. I wrote very little. Why? Because I didn’t feel like it. Why not? Many, many, many reasons. Distractions of every variety, good and bad. I could write for days on the distractions; maybe I will at some point.

As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 (that’s second Corinthians, not “two Corinthians” as anyone who has spent any amount of time in church very well knows, but we’re all supposed to turn a blind eye to THAT too — welcome to my lengthy parenthetical wherein I allude to the biggest and ugliest distraction of them all), God loves a cheerful giver. The blank page is like God that way. It doesn’t require a cheerful giver, thank heavens, so much as a willing one. I wasn’t willing for a long time. We’re talking about good old-fashioned honest to goodness “writer’s block.” It is my opinion that the phrase “writer’s block” is used too frequently and very often incorrectly, but I believe I’m using it correctly here. I can’t say I enjoyed it very much, but I can say I learned a great deal. And I did a great deal of work without even knowing it.

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“Habits change into character.” – Ovid

Beginning a couple of years ago, I have tried to start every day the same way. On waking, before I even sit up, I set an intention for myself (be calm, be kind, be productive, be present, be funny, etc.). Then I either meditate on that intention or I pray. The prayer is always the same. I ask for help in meeting my daily intention. I ask for healing for a list of people whom I know are dealing with illness. I ask for continued blessings and protection of all my families. I ask for comfort and blessings on all those whom I know are grieving some loss or another.

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Today is Tuesday; Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed

The issue of “priorities” is always a bit of a bear for me, but lately …  Since May, I have lost two friends who were writers.  When I say “lost,” I mean they died.  They were both writers who left things unfinished.  Not because they were careless in their work or undisciplined or anything else like that, but because their time here was cut tragically short.  They both left behind unfinished projects they loved and longed to complete.  They left behind goals they had not yet achieved.  Is there a writer living who doesn’t have incomplete projects and goals?  I don’t see how there could be, because writing is an ongoing process, just like living.

Importantly, here is what neither of them left behind:  people in their respective lives who now are in some doubt about whether they were loved by one (or both) of these women.   When it came to caring for their friends and their families, they left nothing unfinished.  I want to tell you things about each of them, but I can’t bring myself to use their names simply because I cannot do either of them justice.  I don’t want to disappoint the people who knew them, but I have to write something down about them.  Something that must be shared.  Forgive me in advance for all the ways this effort will be lacking.

I’m not going to go into how each of them died – the sheer unfairness of both their situations will overwhelm me, and I might spin off into a rant as I am wont to do.  Made for cliché, right? “Life’s not fair.”  Yes.  Check.  Knowing that life isn’t always fair, and being able to say those words out loud doesn’t make it easier to take.  The phrase is a crutch for us when we don’t know what else to say.  I don’t know what else to say about either of their deaths, and I refuse to resort to that phrase.

My two friends were the same in many ways, but also quite different.  I don’t even know if they knew each other, but they had quite a few friends and acquaintances in common.  One (let’s call her “L”) had golden hair that was always doing its own beautifully curly thing, and ice blue eyes that were like tractor beams. Continue reading “Today is Tuesday; Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed”

And She’s Off! Again …

I like to renovate and redecorate, so welcome to the new space.  I have moved some things around here and also put some things on my website, which I hope you will visit.  I changed the name of this blog to “Talking to Myself” because, honestly, I do that all the time.  For those of you who previously have been eavesdropping, let’s review: I was toying with the idea of trying to develop a “virtual poetry group,” but after talking to some other folks and taking into consideration my other commitments and goals, I had to let the idea die.  It was a nice service with some lovely flowers …

Something strange happened to me last April, during Poetry Month, which brings me to this next bit.

After taking a hiatus from the act of submitting my poetry for consideration for publication, I am back in the “Po Biz,” or, as I like to call it, the “Mostly No Biz.”  Just kidding. Not really.

Look, “no” is a huge part of what poets do, and I am all right with that aspect of writing.  With poetry – and forgive me if you’ve heard me say this to myself before – I take rejection as an invitation to revise.  I read and re-read and re-read the poor little poems that come back to me, unwanted.  Sometimes, I readily accept that invitation to revise, feeling embarrassed that I sent my poem out into the big world with its clothes on wrong side out.  And sometimes, after I read and re-read and re-read,  I think my perfectly appropriately dressed poem just needs to find the right adopted home.  Continue reading “And She’s Off! Again …”

December, December…

Yes, I am on the couch trying desperately not to come down with a full-blown cold.  Yes, I could be addressing Christmas/Holiday cards.  You’ll get yours.  Keep your shirt on.  Right now, I have wreaths and a garland on the outside of my front doors.  That’s it by way of Christmas decor, so far.  Oh, wait.  I am drinking my coffee these days out of Christmas mugs, so I’ve got that going for me.

Now, maybe you’ll think it’s because I am a superb procrastinator.  Maybe you’ll think I just like taking baby steps when it comes to holiday stuff.  Maybe you think it’s just me being out of step, as usual.  You can think what you like.  I prefer to think I’m just “old school.” Do sit down, and I’ll explain.

We are currently in the season of Advent.  Advent is supposed to be a quiet time; a time of anticipation.  I thrilled on Sunday morning when, during the Children’s Sermon, the pastor asked the children to be as quiet as they could, to illustrate one of the ways we get ready for Christmas.  The whole church was still.  Everyone was silent.  I don’t even recall hearing traffic outside, or the heat kicking on, or any sound at all, until one small boy whispered, “I can’t take it anymore,” which, naturally, brought the house down. Continue reading “December, December…”