It is done

I know I haven’t posted anything in quite a few months, but I must admit it is for a very good reason.

I have been working feverishly and trying to stay extremely positive (with great effort, I will admit) towards finishing up my thesis and my MFA.

 

I am elated to say, though, that last Monday I defended my thesis for an hour and a half and somehow it was passed. And today, after getting all of my signatures and making edits, I submitted my thesis Stranger Things Have Happened: A Collection for binding and submission to the university. So, I guess I’m officially done!

My director is pushing me to start submitting things, but I think she will also forgive me if I let the pages sit for a little bit before going back to them. After all, I have to start looking for income now!

I thought maybe I wanted to spend a moment in reflection about the MFA and the process, but I don’t want to color it rosy and act like it was a wonderful experience, because it really wasn’t–and for many different reasons. However, I am thankful for some of the things I had the chance to do, and for some of the people I would have never met or had the guts to meet if I hadn’t enrolled in the program. And especially because of the writing that I may never have written if I hadn’t been forced to because of a due date.

But of course, there is still much to do, so wander off now I probably will.

 

I hope to resume the 100 words pieces if not weekly, bi-monthly as well as some sporadic musings and sketches.

Hoping that whomever this reaches is having a happy holiday, and that they meet the new year with bright eyes and kind hearts.

 

Cheers!

Advertisements

May Updates

For anyone who follows this blog, you will notice I sort of tapered off after day 22 of the PAD. For that I apologise. I actually did write poems for most of the days between 23 and 30, but I also got a little burned out and lost my motivation for the writing. I think that is probably the drawback of a month long challenge. Especially knowing that I wanted to do the May challenge as well. Originally, I thought April would be my warm up for some (hopefully) beneficial May writing towards my thesis. Well, I’m 6 days in and I haven’t physically or electronically written anything–which I think could have been implied by the burn out. That doesn’t mean my mind hasn’t been thinking, and writing. It’s weak flickers so far, but hopefully I’ll be fanning the fire soon and back in full swing. 

In the meantime, I had a fun month of travelling, experiencing and seeing all sorts of things, and of course dealing with your run of the mill anxiety and break down. No worries though, I’m pushing through to the next bright morning (look at me with all of these metaphors). Step one was writing this post for the couple of you who are sticking with me through these silly, sometimes profound writing moments and all of the inbetweens.

The second step is uploading the poems I wrote for the missing days in April over the next couple of days. I’m missing in all 5 days from the 30 day challenge, and I feel like that is pretty exceptional and I can’t be mad at myself for it.  

The third step is to try getting on paper a few of the May prompts and hopefully uploading some samples or maybe thoughts about those prompts as the weeks go on. I will still be posting my weekly 100 words, so keep an eye out for this week’s “Leaving” story. 

In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing fabulous, and if you are having trouble, just keep looking for the small happy moments–It’s those that get me through the day! Or just laughing at the ill-luck, because most of it is pretty ridiculous and inevitable. 

Until next post!

Erin

  

PAD 22 — Pastoral

Today’s poem is supposed to be pastoral. Mine turned into an epiphany–perhaps poorly worded, maybe not conveying the full extent of my feelings, but it’s an attempt nonetheless. Also, I love the beach a lot. The end. 8 days left of the challenge!

“Amazement”
is the word to use to describe as I pause outside myself
on Hunting Island, the North Beach.
the tide is out farther than my  memory can recall and

it leaves remnants of the ocean in its wake.
children, dogs, older couples comb the sand,
inspecting what was living, what is still alive.

while we should smell death from the baking jellyfish,
the drying sand dollars, the waterlogged crustaceans,
the sea absorbs it, or perhaps it makes the smell new—
mixed with salt, fish and Coppertone.

seagulls alight and peck at hermit crabs.
dolphins and pelicans alike dive at fish along the waves.

humans collect shells,
they cast out lines and nets.
they build castles, dig moats—and watch them wash away.

Life, as we forget to see it,
in all of its cycles:

foul and wondrous,
superfluous and necessary,
impossible and real.

this is its own poetry.

PAD 19 — Landay

NaPoWrimo’s PAD 18, was a poem about an urgent journey. Because inspiration refused to strike, and there are 11 days left of the challenge, I allowed myself a freebie and moved on to today. PAD 19 is to write a landay or a 22 syllable rhyming couplet. I wanted to just work on two stand alone lines as opposed to a long drawn out poem, so this is where we ended up:

“Uncertain”

She never knew quite what to believe when a

man looked at her sweetly and asked her to stay.

PAD 16 — Terzanelle

And we’re caught up. Today’s prompt at NaPoWriMo was a doozy. And I think the major accomplishment is not getting totally lost by the form. So I will link you to a good example page if you want to try it out, otherwise, here is what I got:
“Country Dream”

Dotting the sky with stars, we look upwards
from the bed of a truck, in a field of hay.
This is the dream that we’ve created.

Expanding skies, we open to each other.
We touch, lightly at first
from the bed of a truck, in a field of hay.

Laughter in the breeze—
our tired eyes cling to sight—
we touch, lightly at first.

The smell of smoke on your skin,
goose bump-shivers involuntary.
Our tired eyes cling to sight.

Hidden in the borders of the truck bed,
we explore lashes and freckles.
Goose bump-shivers involuntary.

Our universe merges, expands, sighs.
Dotting the sky with stars, we look upwards,
we explore lashes and freckles.
This is the dream that we’ve created.

Thankful Journaling

I was perusing this article earlier because it caught my eye on feedly for a couple of reasons. The first is that I have to find a journal for my trip to Belize which I am supposed to write in while I am there everyday (though I have intentions to write in it before and after about expectations and so on.) The other reason is that in another class we were discussing the physical health benefits of writing down/processing through writing and art episodes of suffering or stress and how doing so, when done right, actually boosts white blood cells, and mood and la ti dah. Also, I’m going through a lot of things, in case absolutely no post from this blog tipped you off, so I identified with it. I think what I want to do (which is insane with all of the writing I am doing for school) is to pop in here every now and again with things I’m grateful for. For example, it’s been a tough week, and my confidence has been up and down, but there have been significant moments that I want to thank, but have no way (at least to me) that I can put it out there, so why not here, where I have made the space? I’m not sure how disconnected all of that sounds, but to break it down:

I read an article. I liked the idea. I’m going to recreate it here every now and again. 

 

With that, this week I am grateful for:

1) Hearing from my best friend. I haven’t seen her in almost a month and I miss her, and I hope she is doing a lot better. It was good to talk, like we used to when things weren’t so blue. I loved hearing about her experiments in cheese-making.

2) I am thankful for having developed some aspect of time management. It’s still in beta mode, but because I have so much I have to accomplish in a short time, it’s really comforting knowing that I still have this ability to really step up to a challenge (or several at once) and get them done. It’ll serve me well next year when I am in low-res.

3) I appreciate my professor (future advisor for low-res) handling my crying as soon as I walked in the door in the most sincere and sweet fashion, while maintaining a focused attitude towards what needs to be done to make sure I am happy, or on the road to such things. (I’m tearing up now by how absolutely sweet she was.) I also appreciate my other advisor’s absolutely “cool dude” attitude which saved me from crying when talking about the same stuff the next day. I’m basically surrounded by a great faculty.

4) I don’t want to lop all of my friends together, but I am always grateful for them. Even the ones who I felt I have grown apart from surprised me this week with old jokes, super kind words, and just general “being there” despite being physically separated.

5) I’m the most excited and thankful for the birth of my other best friend’s baby girl. We’ve gone through rough patches for many years now, and recently we decided to distance ourselves from each other. But that all disappears when I see a photo with him and his daughter. That simple act of creation, and of caring, a love that truly is indescribable just resonates and fills me with such emotion. I told my sister I wanted babies now, haha, but really and truly it’s just so beautiful and I have such faith in him, and I can only hope that he is allowed to be with her and that the only complications he has to deal with is her attitude when she turns 13, because that’s a right of passage every parent goes through. (That turned into a run-on, but emotions tend to do that)

 

Well, there’s my five. Now, off to get work done! I am already anticipating things to be thankful for next week!

The Well and the Dam

Every once and a while
a well of emotion froths up into my mouth.

In my darkest moments,
when no one is near, and all of these feelings
fall into themselves;
I’ve got to get them out!

Contradicting each thought as I go,
They push and they shove,
but they stop at the dam of teeth.

Small streams leak from my eyes,
but the well never floods over my gums.
Instead it swirls and bashes at my incisors
until it meekly draws back.

And the emotions slink away into the abyss.
There they wait anew to gain force to
try again.

I fear,
I look forward to
the day the dam finally breaks.

I would say that I want to write, but I feel a need to write. However, everything is blocked up. When I try to speak my feelings and my emotions, they come short, my lips won’t open. When they do the words fall out in the tiniest of whispers. When I am able to speak, it is as if the person receiving them is on another planet, and their responses are non-sequiturs that leave me feeling isolated.

But they aren’t who I want to talk to anyway. Even my fingers when I type can’t quite get all of the problems out. Where do I begin? Where will it go? Why do I feel the need to ask? Is it better not to explore this, just wait it out? The one I want to talk to is the one who patiently watches my face struggle to let out the words. He sees the mind working, and can feel the vibrations of the cogs grinding in my head as he pulls me into his embrace. And he waits, knowing half of my curse, thinking he is to blame for my melancholy.

I really hope I can find the words soon.

 

 

Also, happy one year anniversary to this blog. If you can say happy for a lot of the things I have posted…

Daily Contemplation 1

It’s one of those days where you come home and you see that your bike has been fixed. You didn’t ask for it to be; in fact when you had the time and the money you were going to sit down and do it yourself. But someone loved you that much that he did it for you, and waited for you to get home and be surprised. You didn’t show your surprise all that much, didn’t even say thank-you, which you’ll feel guilt for later.

What you did do is change your clothes and come back downstairs and took your bike down the old dirt road. It’s been months since you last rode, and your legs already feel a little tired and the dry dirt causes extra friction. But still you’re going, and your mind is travelling at the same speed and then the wind picks up–going against you of course.

And then you’re peddling harder and harder and it feels like you’re going nowhere, the wind has left you suspended. And you wonder, “Am I so weak that even a little bit of wind can keep me down?” But you keep peddling because you’re not ready to turn back, and if you stop, the wind will have taken you. And then you wonder some more, “If I can’t even beat the wind, what makes me think I can fight anything else? Succeed at anything else?” But still you peddle on, because you know the breeze will cut down eventually.

And when it does, you’ll feel as if all of the air has been stolen. You’ll want the breeze back. For all  your fighting, you’ll miss it when it’s gone. It wasn’t the norm, but it wasn’t abnormal. It’s just how things are.