I’m so grateful to Jennifer Knight and Moira Convey Silva for letting me be a part of this Covid Monologues MV collection. If you live on/near Martha’s Vineyard, you can support local bookstores Bunch of Grapes or Edgartown Books. If you’re a bit too far, feel free to get your copy through Amazon. All net proceeds from the book benefit the Vineyard Committee on Hunger.
I have some exciting news to ring in the week with! This afternoon I received the Adelaide Literary Award 2020 Anthology and one of my poems has been selected as a finalist! Around this time last spring, I found myself inspired– and somewhat paralyzed–by chalk messages on the corner of a neighboring sidewalk. Fingerprints of children (“shelled-in babes”) contributed to this moment of awe while simultaneous moments of illness, politics, and hate were happening. I was fascinated with the strength behind the soft chalk (“I’ve turned the corner only to be cut open by powder”).
I’m so proud of this piece because I constantly felt compelled to create something and make meaning of all the ingredients in front of me on the pavement. It wouldn’t let me go! I knew the experience needed to be shared on a platform in some way, someday. Had I kept walking past something that made me so grateful, whether it was walking on that sidewalk or walking away from bubbling connections, I would’ve missed the opportunity to reach out to others who *still* need peace during the pandemic and struggles in society ❤
…And I think that’s everyone over 300 days later…
“But this leg running alongside the road, with colors of purity, makes me want to tell you to turn the corner, this corner-where children ground our steps along the edge, innocently cracking our shells. […]” Read “Bending Moment” in its entirety here
To read the other creative and inspiring authors, you can purchase a copy of the anthology here.
As I type this title, all I can think of is “The Giving Tree.” It ends with the visiting friend- after much “time went by and the boy grew older.”
It is nearly November. And so much time has passed. As a writer, I paused to simply let it.
We all paused.
It’s appropriate that we turn the clocks behind this weekend to save ourselves some time this year. This year that has grown more and more unpredictable much like the life of the giving tree, though we do see the pattern of the boy use nature for his own purposes. Each of us has given time and patience to the rest of our selves, families, and society. Time rests our minds and absorbs the happenings, regardless of political sides. Patience with our bodies asks of gentleness and gentleness includes the nutrition entering through our borders (nose and mouth) by way of colors. Watermelon and blueberries give way to the seasonal apples, bok choy, (it’s a favorite in my home!), while bananas, salmon, and bell peppers continue carrying us into the next season.
We’ve been giving our time to our families -whether it be a few minutes via Zoom or checking in on social media with cousins and parents. I’ve noticed that as my patience with the world begins to fray sometimes, checking in with family seems to instill that back into my system. When it comes to our time and patience with society, all we must do is be gentle and remember to use our voice. How have you been with your gentleness and voice? Has either tool disappeared? If so, that’s ok. We are not made to be static. Still. Perfect. Just come out of the position you’re in, much like a yoga shape, and find a more soothing position to be in. Play with the golden rule a bit: “Treat others and myself, my body, the way I want to be treated.”
So much time has passed since I reached out to you and that’s exactly why I’m popping in. I’ve been away from current blogging because nothing seemed “worthy enough” to send out into the universe from my own page. It felt selfish. But recently, I realized that I spent a lot of time last year sending my voice out there for writing pieces and I didn’t/couldn’t know it at the time but 2019 set in motion the accomplishments and beliefs I, and others, needed this year.
As 2020 kept moving, my “paused”/”static” voice (which echoed its way across well over three dozen publications asking for acceptance) proved to have a body of its own: ears that listened for small ideas cracking that’d heal readers; inner vibratory systems that’d carry heavy emotion; eyes that’d not unblink observed injustices. My voice’s body propelled me to create again. And has propelled me to create more.
The voice was my visiting friend, my own body.
And now I’m visiting you, fellow visiting friend.
Yes, it’s ugly outside. Right now the rain is smudging away leaves like a washed away painting.
Yes, it’s ugly outside as certain beliefs domino into violence.
Yes, it’s ugly outside.
But here’s the clarity while watching the smudges, we control our own beauties on the inside. And send it on out.
Now, let us use our gift of extra time to explore – sending one contribution at a time!
Here are some upcoming projects I’ll be sharing with you in hopes of spreading self-care:
-My exploration of self-care with Runas (Known as “Runes”) and other articles written for V’ Well Magazine
-Future blog posts from Step Up for Mental Health where I discuss personal and informative research on ‘Bodyfulness,’ self-care with Anxiety/trauma, and the journey of grief.
-A new blog on here about the adventures of being a southpaw
What may be your contribution(s) you send out to the universe?
Check out my most recent Belly Dance New England article “Creative Warm-Ups for Belly Dance”
I admire people who have a schedule to blog daily, or, every few days. I’ll notice when fellow writers have been bitten by the Creative Bug as I scroll through my email, catching the headline for their newest blog. Sometimes I’ll spot a few emails from one blogger with quite the number of bites- Holy cripes, good for you! The energy has found you and pushed through your finger tips, or rather, YOU have found the energy and have taken it for a ride through your cells only to release the bursts externally!
I’d love to blog daily but the truth is I enjoy being up and moving around. Dancing, walking, and yoga stimulate project ideas, whether they are blogging projects or freelance article projects. For me, taking care of my spine, joints, and breath is the equivalent to freewriting. I warm up and go with whatever flow I find. I follow my intuition. And whatever concoctions find me I try to hold on to with every wire in my mind; I’ll keep post-its and journals nearby to release the creative bursts. I make them immortal quick! Just…don’t do this while driving. Shoulder shimmies, maybe, but no writing or talk-text.
Sometimes when I think I’ve been bitten by the Creative Bug, sometimes it’s just an annoying mosquito bite. But even that helps to know for the future what to look out for.
The ideal creative life for me would include coming home to blog at the same time every day to spread my creative thoughts that swirl around just like cinnamon swirls itself into the eggs for French toast.
But…French toast is heavy….
Sitting down to write…is heavy.
I don’t make French toast often. And I don’t sit down to write often.
Instead, I have a creative routine. Going from a sedentary day job to a sedentary writing job at home adds to any shoulder knots, tension headaches, and charley horses I may have had from the day. So, to be sure to take care and still be a writer at work, I’ll promise myself to move around. Sometimes that means I’m a writer tracing an invisible line with my toes in the dance studio, or I’m a writer exploring connections between Crescent Lunge and working with one’s roots; Whatever the activity, I make sure I’m a writer at a mobile work station. This is how writing fits my body, and really, how it fits my lifestyle.
How does it fit yours? What is the writing life for you?