I just finished re-reading* Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in the context of a manuscript I’m working on in which the speaker confides in and seeks guidance from an alter ego named Gertie. I’m not 100% convinced I can pull it off, but I’m following it where it goes and using my writing journals to get me there.
I fall in love with some detail at each house: a cluster of dwarfs like my mom painted one year in a ceramics class; a blue canoe, upside down; children’s drawings in a front window, including a crayon portrait of a cat named Serenity. Think I can get away with that in a poem?
A friend calls this “writing weather.” I guess that’s one way to get through dark, cold, snowy winter. Willie Nelson helps. Mimosas, too.
For a poet, I think I’m late to the nesting and writing stages of coronavirus grief. But thanks to a cat, perimenopause and Natalie Goldberg, I’m here now.
Maybe you have a place like this: a spot where you see yourself with such clarity it both inspires and frightens you. For me, that’s almost always when facing, touching and diving into the Atlantic. This year, I rediscover grace for my body and a thirst for my writing life.
Remember the girl I said I’d found? The poet-warrior? She refused to stick around. Let’s call it “the remains of winter.” Let’s call it “Trump administration.” Let’s call it #$%?!@*!!
If I define legitimacy as believing in my voice and the creative work regardless of permissions (in other words: *I* say it’s important; *I* say it has value), I can muster the wind.