Monday, June 1, 2015

On Calling Up a New Obsession

69º ~ finally three days in the forecast without rain ~ survival rate of robins: 1 of 3, Saturday we watched the one learn to forage and to fly

Yesterday, in desperation, I posted this to Facebook:

Poet in search of an obsession. Please list non-poetry subjects for possible immersion.

Yes, I was willing to crowdsource. I thought I'd get a few new, interesting ideas; instead, I got a deluge. From the invention of zero to Samurai Jack, episode 7; card tricks to time travel; trilobites to Middle English Dream Visions, I was not disappointed.

Some folks offered subjects for research, while others offered activities to do, and I remembered that action is also a form of immersion.

This morning, I spent some time re-writing the answers as a handwritten list. I'm a huge believer in the difference between handwriting and typing, in the idea that by handwriting we must slow down (if only a fraction) and this allows more "space" in our thinking. As I copied out each new entry, I paid attention to what seemed to spark more enthusiasm in me, and for those entries there is a star, perhaps a coming back.

From time to time on my Facebook post, someone would respond by questioning whether an obsession could be crowdsourced. In fact, I don't really believe it can. I don't think one can be told to obsess about subject A, B, or C. Instead, I found the list more like a card catalogue through which I could flip. In fact, I remember one writing prompt from my past that called for the writer to go to the library, pull the Library of Congress Subject Headings books off the shelf, and randomly select a topic to "research" in hopes of finding a poem there. This Facebook list seems to be something of that sort.

Ultimately, I may be overthinking it all. Regardless, my butt is in the chair and I am engaging in the process. My faith rests in these actions.

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