Thursday, July 27, 2006

FEAST

I have been intermittently flirting with the idea of taking a break from posting my writing here. Thinking, why does someone who "doesn't want to be seen" feel compelled to share herself in this way? Family read this blog--friends here and there...then, there is this whole group of women who write their lives open on an empty screen, trusting again and again in the process as a reward. I feel honored by their compliments and visits here...by yours, whoever reads these lines today. I feel compelled to mention that one of my favorite bloggers has retired her keyboard...Artist Andrea Edwards. The art she shared on her site continually dazzled and inspired me...her discussions of life with four children and carving out a "self" in all of the chaos of motherhood made me return again and again. As I have been asking myself many questions about why I am here blogging away...it was jarring to see her go. When I first began this blog, I was setting out into the unknown...since comments were rare, I really didn't have a sense of anyone even reading my work. It still felt like a journal then. I didn't feel like I should be clever or artistic or anything but what I was in that moment. This is what I'd like to return to, I tell myself...maybe I'll stop.

Then, I will check in on some of my favorite blogs and be amazed by their open-hearted truths. No holding back...I will visit MamaSaysOm to see the weekly prompt and write my response to the intersection of their word and my mothering, whether or not I share it here. Sunday Scribblings rolls around and I read the others' submissions with great joy...a dose of fiction, memoir, art, photography--it is interpreted as many ways as I can imagine and this encourages me to blur my own creative lines. Ah...then, it is Poetry Thursday again--like it is today. My mind says, "Well, how could I possibly not see what poets people are choosing or what work they have created? It's POETRY--your first love--where else do you get to luxuriate in it like this?"

Where indeed? This week, the prompt was to consider poetry and food. My mind went first to my old favorite book--Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write, by Gayle Brandeis...a miraculous writer whose blog was the first I ever read. I devoured the snippets of delicious poems there,
"I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple. Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said, "This must thou eat." And I ate the world." --Ralph Waldo Emerson--
I was caught up in the sensual exercises there as back in 2002 when I first read it. Now, I'm writing these prompts again with four years under my belt and everything is different as I dig in. Remembering this book languishing on my shelf came about because I participate in the blogging world.

Poetry Thursday's call for us to sink into food poetry...stirred another knee-jerk response in me. The last line of one of my favorite poems by Derek Walcott which I have ultimately decided to share as my answer to this week's prompt.

Love After Love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf.

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Walcott, 1986--


This poem breaks me open...especially right now when I am looking very intently at myself. The connections continue--Liz Elayne is embarking on a self-reflection meditation and I decided, after reading her thoughtful invitation and the Gilbert piece in the Yoga Journal to do the same. Her introspection reminded me of one of Jennifer(she said)'s body writing she began sharing in the spring. I have been so moved by these words of hers, but was too terrified to consider really writing my own body. For me, doing it in conjunction with the reflection mediation will be the way I move into this. Again, I may not even share these here--but, the supposedly inane, navel-gazing world of blogging has inspired me to look at myself and maybe revise out of that someone who "doesn't want to be seen".

I edited this post to remove the links I initially included--not because they aren't the blogs I read and enjoy deeply, but because over dinner I remembered four very important ones I'd missed. Then, the thought became, "Which ones will I remember tomorrow?" "Which new blogs have I not yet discovered?" Perhaps it is enough to say that I am a blog-reader now every bit as much as I am blog-writer. What does this say about me--that I want to read other people's journals? What does it say about me that I want people to read pieces of mine? These are the questions right now...I don't have any real answers. The prompt this Poetry Thursday was for food and writing...I'm rambling here and giving word-feasts as well as poetry. I'm confessing that I don't know my blogging future...but, I am reminded of the quote I used to open my first post here...

"We write to taste life twice...once, in the moment, and once in retrospection." --Anais Nin-- To which I added, "I do not plan to go hungry." Maybe right now, it's time to clear my place from the table...or maybe I'll have room for more. Time will tell, but I surely appreciate all of your incredibly lyrical offerings. They have fed me...
Link

29 Comments:

Blogger jim said...

Thank you, for feeding us, with such generous and far-reaching musings, lines, and honest words!

And something of a pot-luck, too, with all the links (so many I read off and on, daily, too).

Perhaps it is a sign of health, to leave the blogosphere for a little while, to regain some strength from silence or disengagement. But it's also so vital to come into contact with kindred, pixilated spirits--it's so simultaneously material and immaterial, isn't it?

11:17 AM  
Blogger woman wandering said...

I find ... she begins, unasked ... that the more I write, the more I write.

It's that simple for me (at the moment) lol but that certainty comes and goes.

I guess the beautiful thing about a blog is that we don't clock in, we don't have to write, and we can write as we please ... mmmm, introspection ahead methinks.

Thanks, I enjoyed your poem too.

11:33 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Delia, I wish you could know how often your words have moved and comforted me. Each time I read a new post I sit back satisfied, stunned, letting it go deep into my mind and heart. I hope you decide to stay, that's my selfish hope. And if you decide to take a break that you come back soon. Thank you for todays poem. It fits for me right now.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

I feel greatful that you read my writing, and my thoughts. I really do, because I admire your talent and journey so much! And I don't want you to leave, too! I miss Andrea so much. I can't bring myself to take her off my blogroll, yet. LOL! I would be way too sad to see you go, too! NOooo!

I didn't know what this blog thing would be when I started. But I don't think I knew how much I needed this kind of outlet for my writing, feelings and thoughts. Or how much I needed this connection to other women and kindred souls and talent! So much inspriation.

So right now, I will just let it be what it is... I won't over think it. It is such a new thing, this blogging thing. It is a new path we cut. Do any of us really know what blogging will end up being?

That poem took my breath away, and made me read it over...

:)

11:45 AM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

Delia; I - along with so many others - hope you don't drop away. Perhaps you have grown and invested so much into your blog that you need a 'goal' for it; to use it to write a book - even self published?

12:14 PM  
Blogger LJCohen said...

Thank you for the Derek Walcott poem. Ahhhh. Wonderful and expansive.

Found you through poetry thursday.

best,
lj

2:16 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Lovely post, links and poem. Thanks for sharing your writing and your musings with us.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Cee said...

Thank you for your delicious words - I do hope you'll stick around online, and continue to delight us with your thoughts and experiences.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

WOW! Honest and great food for thought. My blog is my legacy to my family and I'm learning more and more about me...suprise :)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Madeleine said...

what a beautiful poem, Delia.
a good reminder to befriend ourselves again.
your writing and words are truly inspiring.

good luck with whatever you chose to do.
x

10:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm hoping you will continue to write...

11:17 PM  
Blogger bb said...

I know you will continue to write.
And I know I will continue to seek out your writing wherever it is published, because it is so nourishing and vital to me.
So blogging or no blogging, which ever is your choice, leave me a bread crumb trail so I will at least know where else I can find your words...
Beautiful post. And, yes, the Walcott poem always splits me open too. Exhilirating.

3:53 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. I have asked myself the same questions and come up with similar answers...for some reason it fills me with something I am in need of at this moment. I will miss peeking into your mind through your words on my screen if you stop posting.

9:34 AM  
Blogger wendylou who? said...

I would rather read blogs, than waych tv. For me this is alot...and a compliment. The tv has been a lil friend, a companion, as I raised my daughters...far from home, husband who travels. So now, instead of filling my space with static..I fill it with human experience..of all kinds, your very much included.

The writing has become a pleasure..not hidden in a drawer..or under the bed...no longer in fits and spurts. I named my blog very aptly..in retrospect...I fell in love with words. and finally decided to try not to blush.

You take care. You will write. We will wait. No worries.

9:54 AM  
Blogger January said...

Delia, I hope you continue to blog off and on, because this is one of the stops I come to when I need to be fed. Yes, I'm being completely selfish but I want you to stick around.

I echo the sentiments by so many others: take a break if needed, we will find your writings wherever you publish, come back refreshed and energized. *smile*

Thanks for sharing Derek Walcott's brilliant poem. And thank you for your honest post.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Shannon (Sentimental) said...

I love this and they are not questions that all of bloggers haven't asked once and again. In fact I ask myself almost daily. Why am I doing this, what do I get out of it? It was sudden Andrea's leaving but understood.

I love reading your musing and ideals on it and thank you for sharing.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I do love that poem, and I do want you to keep blogging ~ if it's right for you.

3:49 PM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

the walcott poem was one of my favorites...

i want you to know that back in the spring i too read jennifer's wonderful thought provoking writings about her body parts. i wanted to do it at the time but knew i couldn't. it just wasn't the right time. then liz's invitation came and i knew i was ready. i too am merging the two invitations/challenges together. i will be here in the blogging world doing the same hard, dirty, rewarding work as you are. i'll be here too...you're not alone...

5:55 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

well, my writing sister, my first reaction is a very knee-jerk "don't go!!" :-) i've realised that blogging goes way beyond the first instinct to write - it is a place to commune with others. and your words speak to so many, as these comments prove.... but i also understand the need to step back from the screen and live in the real world, with wildies running around and projects to get on with..... but whatever happens, i know we are bonded now, even if my emailing is so pathetically sparse :-) (sorry about that - it's on its way) -sending love to you x

6:04 AM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

Delia - there seems to be no easy answer to the question of "to blog or not to blog." It seems that just as the fire is getting going under some of us newbies, others are taking breaks or bowing out for good reasons. I'm beginning to wonder if that's the natural progression. Do bloggers shine brightly and then burn themselves out like stars in the heavens?

Like so many others who have commented, I would be so sad to see you go and would feel the loss, but I feel like I've connected with you and your writing and that I would seek out anything you put out there. I hope that you'll find your peace in whatever decision you make! Blessings to you!

3:10 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

I've just been fasting. Your post filled me with what I've been neglecting.
a.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Mardougrrl said...

I'm consistently left in awe by your writing. At the moment, I see blogging as whirling me faster and faster towards going after what I want--novel writing. While that eventually become an escape velocity? I don't know. I DO know that I have been nourished by your words, and by the words and the stories and the experiences and the DAILINESS of my favorite bloggers.

If you need to go, please come back when you are ready. We'll all miss you.

-Mon

12:33 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

I don't read your blog as often as I should, but I wanted to tell you that your writing is exquisite, profound and moving. I hope you keep on blogging!

4:18 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

See? I miss you.

:)

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Lunarmusings said...

sigh... I have been missing you. And although my deeper heart understands the need to sit down with yourself and truly look... because really - in order to be seen by other, we must truly be willing to see ourselves - another part of me just isn't ok with you being gone. That's quite selfish I know. And so it is.

I send you much peace and inner vision sweet one! Can't wait to hear from you agian.

2:56 AM  
Blogger ESB said...

Hi--I just read your edited post and wanted to let you know that I have been feeling very similarly.....Thoughts of simply deleting my entire blog have entered my head more than once over the last few weeks....In addition to the discovery that I have been continually cyber "stalked" and also slandered over the last year, I am suddenly doubting the whole concept of blogging in general....For me, it seems so exhibitionistic, narcissistic, even insecure and lonesome....I suddenly see real problems with the internet. Yet, the idea of no longer writing in my blog--and reading other peoples'--feels like a real loss. I haven't figured out what to do, so I'm simply taking a break for now. Thank you for helping me to articulate some of these thoughts....

8:45 AM  
Blogger tracey said...

That is one of my favorite poems and makes me want to lay in a heap crying.
I find everything you offer nourishment for my hungry soul. But I can undersatnd that might be draining for you. Follow the path that lies before you in love and trust and you won't loose your way.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Hey! I wrote a note back to you.;)
And I wanted to tell you that I wrote a post about Georgia's birth a few posts back, and I though you would like it. (Nat.Fam.Mag, and all.) Did you see it?

I hope you are taking care, and having a good break. I did finally get my Sage Woman, and your story was so good!

:)

11:14 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thank you all for your thoughts, support, and reflections on blogging. I plan to resume posting again soon...ready to feast on delicious words again!

12:25 PM  

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