Tuesday, June 23, 2015

At this moment...: A Way of Diving In

90º ~ dewpoint 73º ~ looking forward to a cold front forecasted for later this week ~ watered front and back early this morning, all the birds enjoyed

I did, indeed, spend yesterday afternoon at the collage table, getting the new journal ready to go. For those interested in such things, I seem to need blank pages so my undisciplined script doesn't look quite so much of a disaster. Also, when I'm working on wordbanks and such, I don't like to be controlled by lines. I use an unlined Moleskine with craft paper covers.

This morning, after shower and with coffee, OJ, and breakfast "cookie," I shoveled all the extraneous bits from my desk, turned on some instrumental music, and opened the new journal. I cracked the wee spine. I flattened the book open to the first, clean page. I sat with feet flat on the floor and took three meditation breaths to clear my mind. Then. Writing on the horizontal, I began with "At this moment... ."

"At this moment..." is one of the most helpful prompts from Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. At least, it is the most helpful to me at this time and place in my writing. When I was a much younger writer, "I remember..." was the most helpful prompt of Goldberg's for me.

Knowing that the blank page can intimidate, I simply began recording what my senses perceived "at this moment." In a brief time, I'd filled two pages, and my writing had drifted into more imaginative spaces. While I did not draft a poem today, I returned to the practice of drifting, which will lead, I know, to drafting soon. Until I get in the groove, though, I'll be relying on "at this moment... ."

Without pushing it, I closed the journal and turned to another of my summer 2015 goals: submitting poems. While I don't have much to show for 2013 and 2014 in terms of poems written, I do have a dozen that might be publishable. I polished up four of those and bundled them off to a few journals. Those submitting muscles were pretty out of practice and the whole thing seemed exhausting. I confess that since I finished with the sickly speaker, I feel no ability to judge the poems written in her aftermath. By this I mean that with the poems in The Alchemy of My Mortal Form, I had a strong sense of each one being "ready" for the outside world, not only ready but "worthy." With these disparate 2013-2014 poems, I feel like an unsteady foal once again. I have no idea if their subjects will touch any readers, although I feel okay about their craft, so out they go. The submitting experience should tell whether they are of interest to others or not.

Until tomorrow's moment...

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