Will things be normal after the pandemic? This poet hopes not and contemplates the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for change that’s before us for now.
A couple weeks ago when I was lamenting to a friend about the utter lack of progress I’ve made this year (sinking, sinking), she reminded me that this isn’t just the culmination of 2019 but of a decade. And she encouraged me to think of all that’s happened in the decade: 2010, for example, was the first year without my mom and the last year of my marriage.
To put it bluntly, one of the ways the patriarchy persists is because women have been trained not to make anyone uncomfortable. As a writer (and this is a writing blog, after all), everything hinges on this idea. The truth often discomforts, and it matters who gets to speak it.
I have no idea where the capacity to drop down into things went, or why it decided to return, but it *is* returning. The “read 100 poems in 12-ish months” effort is accelerating it, for sure. Coming back to the joyful, careful reading of poetry books — and taking time to make some personal notes about each — is helping me find my voice again.
Part of the agitation I’ve been feeling comes from failure to be disciplined, inability to see a path or progress and a tendency to go to extremes. It’s not that I want to reign anything in, but I do want to be more aware and purposeful. So finding that poster gave me an idea: look at the three experiences (eat, pray, love) as a useful organizing principle for that effort.
It’s not always easy to toot your own horn, but you must. You must. You must. You must. “These days,” said the old lady poet, “it’s one of the only ways to get your work out there.” You’re on social media scrolling and scrolling anyway, and you’re probably using it to praise other writers at least some of the time. Throw yourself a bone.
“Fuel” is my word for 2018. I want to fuel my mind and my body. I want to create energy instead of allowing it to drain out. So that’s my focus for 2018: behaviors and decisions that fuel me, that move me forward.