Tag Archives: hope

spoons of intent

the space between us
is measured in spoons of intent
present
and hidden to both of us

spaces make room for life and quicksand
and our talking paints the door
for surrender to enter

I show you polaroids,
you tell stories
that rumble low in your chest
and till my soil

I’m chewing your hope in my mouth
moving it around with my tongue
keeping it supple
and ready for travel

Our lights are coming in.
They won’t leave hope any room here.

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Moving, Electing, Noveling.

Oh my, my.  I moved today, for the 14th time since July (but who’s counting.)  And I am living in America, a country I am proud to live in for the first time in 8 long, long years.  And I am many thousands of words behind in my novel-writing word count, but am having a fantastic time now, after days of less than fantasticness.

** Moving **

I am learning the art of moving gracefully and painlessly.  I am not yet to a place of enthusiasm.  But I am grateful.  Grateful for having so many amazing friends who have extended their homes to me whenever I need them.  I am grateful for living rent-free for 4 and-a-half months.  I am grateful for the awesome realization of freedom that hit me at 4:00 today, that I could pick up and drive anywhere on the continent and make a life there, right now. I am grateful for getting rid of things, slowly, with each move, and I don’t miss any of them.  (I can’t even remember them.)

** OH! BAMA! **

Speaking of grateful… although truth be told, ecstatic is the better word.  Or ebullient, giddy or glee-filled.  AMEN! HALLELUJAH! AMEN! (this is being sung by a big gospel choir in my head.)

I watched the returns come in Tuesday, accidentally, down at Esalen with the only person I know in Big Sur who is as big of a political junkie as I am.  We shook and laughed and cried and screamed and sat quietly and hugged. (Thank you, J.)  This was followed by a trip down to the local pub where there was much dancing and whooping. The profundity of this decision sunk in only after the fact: a black man, a black man with integrity and heart, a black man with courage and humility and vision and presence and grace, has been elected President of the United States by the majority of Americans.  I can’t decide which is more impossible to believe: that Obama actually won, or that whole states of people out there voted for Sarah Palin.

I am learning what it feels like to be represented(!) and what it’s like to be in the majority(!).  I am finding myself two degrees more courageous since Tuesday.  I am just a little bit more willing to risk hoping.  And I am reveling in discovering that just a little bit is so, so big.

** Writing Novels **

All I can do is sigh, with pity for this little human that I am.  This ambitious and earnest and fragile little person.  On Wednesday, I still didn’t have any vision for my story.  I was writing disjointed fragments and as quickly as I wrote them I hated them.  I hated my characters, my lack of a plot or vision, this whole big dumb idea of writing a novel.  I stared at my screen for one whole hour without writing one whole word.  I got up and ate chocolate and drank wine. I sat down to write again and fell asleep instead.  I woke up and walked around slamming doors.

It was about this time that a little voice whispered in my ear, saying “This is why you signed up for this. Right now. This.

I looked up an e-mail that I got from my super bestest novel-writing mentor ever, P, in the week before the NaNoWriMo started.   I had relayed my anxiety to her about the whole thing and she offered this response.  (She offered a complete list of points a thru i, but I only needed to read to d, this time. Hope you don’t mind me sharing, P.)  She writes:

oh, i hear you, sister friend. i hear you.

and i hope that you will:

a. give yourself permission to write the worst crap ever. like, seriously awful crap.

b. and that for a while it bothers you, how much crap you’re slinging. that you start to wonder if you have any business at all writing.

c. and i hope that when that happens (because it will) you keep writing.

d. and after you keep writing even though you hate everything coming out of you, that you start to think it’s fun and silly and awesome (because you will and it is).

It was the two degrees of relief and hope and trust that I needed to start writing again.  I haven’t stopped since.  I am still way behind the word count I should be at, but I don’t much care.

If you fancy reading the occasional, random excerpt, I’m posting them at:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/425881 (Click “Novel Info”)

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Filed under life, politics, writing

Make believe you aren’t me, part 1

I just realized why the prospect of writing fiction doesn’t enchant me the way it used to. I’m too attached to my own character. I have an obsessive streak of self-checking, self-awareness, self-righteousness, self-justification and comparing.

Somewhere in my psychological evolution I became terrified of being forgotten. And now it springs forth in my daily doings and goings on as an internal worldview commentated endlessly by a Tourette’s-like spout of comparisons to ME. I watch TV, “Who would do that? I would never do that”. I read a book, “Why isn’t she worried about being late? I hate being late.” I talk with someone, listening, waiting for my moment… “well here’s what I think.” As if there is someone else listening to this conversation and I must convince them that I exist here as my own being, with my own legs.

I do get this is normal. Most all of us have some of this, since we are each the eyes of our own universe. And still I’m getting a mini “a-ha” today, feeling how this is a total creativity stopper. How comparing everything to who we think we already are is a super way to avoid allowing in those little changes and shifts and gifts that grow us up.

I know this ME-ness is just a thin skin layer away from something different. My night life is a rich, rich dream world, overflowing with fiction. Most of my dream characters are strangers to me, doing strange things. And they are compelling even to my self-absorbed self. They are my constant, first-thing-in-the-morning reminder that I’m full of much more than my voices say I am.

I had my birthday Tarot reading a couple weeks ago, and it called upon my “dreamer” as a guide and source of wisdom. I think I see what it’s getting at. Dreams, awake or asleep, are the salve on wounds of change. I fear hugely changing my sense of self – it rocks my world (not in the good way.) But dreaming about something different, now that’s colored with hope. It’s a brightly colored thread coming out of my chest to grab on and follow, even if it means putting all the ME-ness up on a shelf.

My world is full of change now. Earthquake change. Gotta find a place to live in the next 30 days and move. And I’ll be moving alone, away, apart from my closest, best person. Maybe it’s time for an experiment in fiction. Not as an escape, but as the antidote to all those voices who are telling me all this change outside will change who I am. As a train taking me past all the self stuff, straight on course to Source.

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Filed under life, writing