Confession... I struggled to find a blog post to write about this week. I have a post planned for next week, and the week following next, but nothing seemed quite right for this week. While I have a list of ongoing ideas for potential upcoming posts, none of them jumped out at me, and as soon as I started to expand on an idea it felt fake, not whole-heartedly me. Nothing was coming naturally; I was in a rut.
At the same time, I have been reading again. Picking up a book at night was something I always did as a child, teen, and even in my early twenty's. I came to look forward to that hour before bed when I would turn on my little light, curl under the covers, and get lost in a world of words creating images. Somewhere along the line of graduating college and becoming an adult, this stopped. I didn’t have time for reading anymore (or so I said). Sure, if someone asked, I would claim to like reading and I would read at least a book or two a year, but it was nothing like the daily ritual I used to hold so dearly. Recently, Dustin has been taking a dive into fiction, and since this is new territory for him he has been asking for suggestions. Thinking back to my favorite authors and books has gotten me excited all over again. Plus, talking about favorite paragraphs and plots over Friday night dinner with a glass of wine has been one of my favorite new occurrences that has naturally unfolded with this chain of events. All this to say, one thing has lead to another, and reading books has reawakened my love for creative writing. Thus, my week has looked a lot like putting off organizing a formal blog post - thinking about words, scribbling down random thoughts or sentences, and pondering how I would describe the crackling of leaves as bike tires travel over them.
I took a poetry class in college, which was probably the most influential course over the four years I spent at Asbury University. My professor, Dr. Marcia Hurlow, a poet herself, was a quirky spirited lady who encouraged us to go to poetry readings, listen to the rhythm and sounds of words, and actually took time to provide constructive feedback - often returning my papers with coffee stained rings around them (a true sign that time was spent with each piece).
An exercise we often performed in this class was to write sonnets in Iambic Pentameter. I must admit, I had to look this up again. A sonnet is a poem composed of fourteen lines, typically with ten syllables per line. Iambic Pentameter is a format in which each line of verse contains five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable. I remember that the structure of writing a poem in Iambic Pentameter really enriched my vocabulary and challenged how I arranged words - reflecting how I saw the world. So here I find myself for the first time in eight years sitting down to write a sonnet in Iambic Pentameter. It's funny how the world circles back around to our true passions.
As I sat writing this poem on my lunch break several days ago, memories flooded my head of college years - finishing up homework assignments in chapel as I counted syllables on my fingers, writing furiously on the back of the morning pamphlet, and even getting written up for not paying attention. As I walked back to work from my hour lunch, I already noticed a change had taken place. Words were everywhere. I pondered the difference of mystery with two syllables and mystery with three syllables. It was fascinating how the same word created a different vibration and feeling based on the pronunciation of its syllables. I noticed the homeless man on the corner and how he tilted his hat. There was a sadness in the tilt, a thoughtless style, the look we often try to achieve, putting too much effort in being effortless. I quickly stored this in my database of mementos. I noticed the building and windows, how the letter "L" was sitting on the sill of each. And I noticed how I began to see the motions of everyday life - the rush, the calm, the beauty of it all. This week wasn't so much of a creative rut after all, it was a week of rediscovering myself.
Here I present to you my poem, the beginning of the middle, right where I left off, a pause in life that just began to play again. I'm excited to see where this new enthusiasm will take me.
Tic Tic, the walls close in, quick dart my eyes,
just a chain tug away from life to death.
Dust webs already singing their goodbyes,
soft flakes, from ceiling fans take their last breath.
Another subtle fret, it holds me now.
My mind now panicked of its own demise.
Pointer finger perched between the brows,
“how on earth did I end up with fat thighs?”
Quick thoughts still run, but soon they will be gone.
Small, timid hand extends with paintbrush hairs,
impressing their mark on the stark white lawn
of canvas threads, bright hues could not forbear.
Deep blues tipped with white, quick marks, clouds enfold
in mystery, finally at the peace of gold.
So what has been inspiring you lately? I would love to read poetry of your own and could definitely use some suggestions for poets and fiction authors to read. I hope you all have been well and have been listening to the creative callings in your life. I'll be writing more about what it looks like to face fears and being scared to death of what you know you should be doing. Thank you for encouraging me daily.
PORTRAIT PHOTO CREDIT: Dustin Krotts
ANOMIE by Marcia Hurlow
GREEN MAN IN SUBURBIA Marcia Hurlow