Friday, November 1, 2013

Wind, in two acts

Notes [In which something blows in from elsewhere and shakes the branches]

I have been feeling aimless, as if something is amiss.  All autumn I am in arrears--not home enough, overwhelmed by work, often late--time won't stretch any further no matter how much I tug. A friend writes to ask for a few of my poems, and I spend a few hours compiling them, stripping away the images, gathering just the words. Pages and pages of words, but is this enough? Some of them please me. I wake in the night--I have forgotten a few. As I work with the words, new poems compose themselves from fragments, chatter in the margins. If only I had another day to work on them, but there is no time for that--I must soon send them off to walk and chatter on their own.

Still, the exercise wakes me, makes me realize that in this busy season I've utterly abandoned any cultivation of my own work, my practices, the making of words and images. No wonder I feel so pressed upon, so breathless, as if living is just a matter of racing from chore to chore. How can I change that? Another message lands in my inbox: November is NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I decided to give myself a challenge: I will post one small thing every day, mostly photographs.  Is this craziness? Clearly I need another assignment--surely that will stop the sensation of breathlessness, the feeling that I am forever out of time! Still, it's not all folly. In the business of making, sometimes you need a gust from another quadrant to blow in and shake things up. This month then, is for scattering leaves.

But not just any leaves. I give myself a second challenge: this month I will try to think about how a photograph or series of them may comprise a poem. Here then, wind, in two acts. There will be more.

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