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...