Category Archives: self confidence

Clearing the Cobwebs

I haven’t had much time to write recently, and it’s been gnawing at me. Since I had a day off from work and nothing really pressing this morning, I thought I would do one of these posts just to test the connection between my brain and “the page.” I noticed that other writers/bloggers have been suffering the same issues lately: lack of inspiration, lack of time, low self-esteem. There is a common thread for writers that struggle. All writers struggle.

Someone has written/said that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we can’t write. I agree with that, but it is an integral part of me – that I write. I’ve worked to forgive myself when I can’t write – when there is nothing appealing or I just don’t have time. One thing that still gets me though, is when I work hard and decide to submit something for publication – and I get the “I’m sorry, this is not for me” rejection. I’ve submitted poems 3 times in the last 5 months and all 3 were rejected with that same line. It is disheartening to read that multiple times, especially when you feel strongly about your craft. I hesitate to submit for publication anyway – mainly due to imposter-syndrome reasons, and this just sort of confirms my feelings about it.

Yeah, I’m kind of miffed. But I’ve now complained in writing, so I’ll move on.

Projects I’m planning

I play percussion in a community band.  Our percussion section aspires to do ensembles and things independently of the band itself.  I found instructions on how to make boom-whackers (a set of plastic tubes cut to different lengths that result in different pitches).  You can use any pipe material, but the cheapest thing apparently is to use golf bag tube inserts.  I ordered 28 tubes and will begin cutting them down this weekend.  Should be fun, and I can’t wait to hear the result.  Here’s a link for a boomwhacker performance of Bohemian Rhapsody.

What I’m Reading

I just finished The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber.  It took me a while (~10 months), as the book moves between and first person and third person narration that it is a bit disconcerting, and was difficult to stay focused.  I understand the reasoning – as it conveys the sense of the major plot device – moving between the present and the past via drug-assisted time travel.  I lost interest about half-way through the book and set it down for the better part of last year.  I still found the premise compelling, and picked it back up to finish.  If you’ve seen the Bradley Cooper movie, Limitless – this has similar plot ideas- though it relates to art and counterfeiting.  The art history was interesting, but the counterfeiting sub plot was not as well-mapped.  It also ended a bit too quickly, once I had accepted the premise and worked my way through the different narration styles.

I’ve moved on other novels:  The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett (which I like and am making real headway through) and still working on The Alienist by Caleb Carr (which I thought I would like better than I have so far, but not willing to give up on it yet).  I recently bought Sarum: The Novel of England, by Edward Rutherfurd.  I’ve read other books by Rutherfurd and liked them.

What I’m writing

Nothing much these days.  I’m collecting snippets of phrases and words, and hopefully something will get written soon.  As it stands now, I guess I’m on hiatus.

Thanks for reading.

Maybe

There is a secret around the corner
that the roses will be red instead of pink;

the sunset and sunrise will both illuminate
the dark moments – far more eloquently than any word.

There are remnants of language,
The laughter of loved ones and strangers
are beauty in a spattered world –
and strung-together notes of the discordant are melodious when unfurled.

There is a depth in every eyeful gathered from a window
and a coolness in the soil grasped by each hand.

You feel the heat that summer’s afternoon conceives,
and I hear the whiskers of October’s morning in the leaves.

There are shadows that crawl in the day
and charming smiles that ornament a night.

And this is truth’s impassioned plea to our humanity,
and affirms the secrets we sometimes cannot see –
perhaps, life is our communal way to share
and maybe, each one of us is rare.

******
The events of this past week have weighed heavily on me – the loss of two very successful, highly creative individuals to suicide, and the realization that this type of hopelessness impacts far more people than we know/understand. There is such beauty and importance in life, and each one of every one of us has a rare gift to share with others. Remember this.
Wishing you all a wonderful week.

Caves

I never said much, but always wished more.

I often walked far, yet attended to less –

following the streams

climbing the hill

breathing the air.

I sometimes planned, yet often moved.

I always embraced, but waited alone –

catching a glimpse

grasping a hand

dancing a waltz.

I cherished the words, then let them sit idle.

I spoke them in caves, and the echoes moved on –

whispered and bluff

incarnate and gangling

encircled and sure.

I never said much, but always wished more.

 

 

The last ones

Where the omegas light
or the zebras graze
coming to a sundown at the end
of a day, with the hues just finishing
at the edge of the page.
Come what may.

Trek down to bottom
of the waterfall,
the pool that collects and swirls
and spalls. Shapes majestic rock
to a minor crawl.
You’ve seen it all.

Walk away from
blood and tears you’ve shed,
The memory maybe still fresh,
and living in your head. Not
worth the pain or the dread.
That’s what they said.

The last ones take
a moment to decide,
to conquer and reign in the now,
the meantime. It’s true what they implied,
yet often untried.

non-sequitur moment

I don’t speak Gaelic,
and I’ve never been to Venice, either,
she said -between bites of her sandwich-
not looking at anyone in particular.

And I thought:

It must take a long time to get there by rowboat.
The ocean is only half-filled with water,
though there is plenty of time,
plenty of it.
plenty…

It is only 8 miles across the straits of Gibraltar
where the big rock is.
(Well, there is probably more than one),
and they keep getting reshaped and worn by water.

Maybe water can reshape me
or move me out to the sea.

Stones don’t move themselves;
they just get reshaped by water.
Running water.
Falling down.
Breaking it apart.
Lots of water falling down and crashing into crags and crevices.

That’s why rocks crash into the sea.

The ocean is half-full of rocks, I said.

And she nodded with fluid regality
-between bites of her sandwich-
like a queen or princess.

****
Originally published in Soundzine | February, 2011

present perfect

I do not wish to know
tomorrow’s faint and slow
ascent, nor do I care to see
if yesterday was lithe with glee –
Wasn’t last year so obsessed
and burdensome?
We can attest.
And back ten years, if sighted, could
we not have worried where we stood?

To keeping in the ‘now on scene’,
I hope that all my words are keen
and opening new each day
-as morning glories say –

that past affronts have gone to sour
and I embrace a blooming flower
that opens with the sun.

And here I have begun.

answer

there is no answer
only trees with spindled branches
that vanish in the beauty of the green

and trails that wander off
behind the distant hillsides, pastoral scenes.

no remedy – with wind between
the spruce’s fingerlings
since moved along to coastal shores and things.

no antiphon in plummeting
in ocean depths – it’s just serene
and emptied of all guff
and echo that there’s ever been.

no pleas as silent offerings proceed
to culminating crests, and heights convened.

and this, the peace of things
that is to be –
the answers all in all, are unforeseen.