Monday, September 27, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Wow.  I can't believe I haven't written here in so long (more than two months).  In August I became consumed with rearranging bedrooms in our house so our baby could have his own room and my older kids would have a hope of getting sleep.  The job was way bigger than it looked and took up probably four weeks.  I was in such a great writing groove since last fall, and lost my momentum completely.  I could have finished up a writing journal before the end of August, but am now still trying to fill empty pages. 

While I have been writing daily (for the most part) in September, I am definitely uninspired except for writing about what ails me (I am aging badly) like an old woman with the rheumatism.  Even now, I am only filling a notebook page a day, which is not great.

One other thing happened that put me in full writer's block this summer.  My husband found a box of papers I had saved from college - there was a yellow plastic box closed tight filled with every poem I had written in my teens and early twenties, every class note from college, and every essay I had written.  Before he opened it, I told him to just pitch it - I generally believe anything not used in 2 years is not worth keeping.  Instead, he opened the box and was as happy as me to find this hidden treasure - a glimpse into me twenty years ago.  A tear welled up in my eye, I was so overcome that he found my poems especially and all of the papers I had written in my English classes.  I am planning to go to graduate school, so finding writing samples is like finding diamonds embedded in gold.  Moreso, it was like finding a time capsule that I forgot I had buried intended to remind myself of who I was.

The problem was when I opened up the folder marked Poems.  My poems, poems I had written at a time that I was a bit depressed, lonely, fatalistic, melodramatic, and simultaneously determined to find the raw poetic voice inside of me.  I opened a poem to read to my teenage daughter, all excited to share with her.  I yelped an "eek" in shock, closing the folder tight when I read raw images that no mother would want their child to read, probably good poetry, but scary that it came from me.  I do remember being infatuated with dark poems of Sylvia Plath and other depressed poets.  I think it's possible the lines I wrote in my late teens would make Sylvia very worried for me.  "I definitely needed meds," was all I told my husband and put the folder away in its tidy little box.

On Saturday this past weekend, I bravely opened the folder and found the start of a poem not so tragic.  I typed it, edited it only a little, and shared it with my family who loved it.  So I'm back and not so terrified of the demons I may have awakened in the dusty corners of my mind.

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