and giving in…
It has been a summer of quiet. Avoiding the noise. Relinquishing the pressure of “content”, in terms of both producing and consuming.
I wrote very little. Read less than I’d like (awaiting new reading glasses). But listened.
I dropped every project on my summer to-do list, except extending my morning meditation to 20 minutes, which I have done with more ease than I anticipated. I unintentionally developed a daily yoga practice as well. I don’t recognise myself.
And yet, I do.
I heard about some recent research on the Curiosity podcast this week that rang true for me:
Can I just say that I am more than fine with not having motivation to do “assigned busywork” anymore? Whether assigned by others, or self-assigned. I believe that meditation gives up the perspective to distinguish what is significant and what is expected. I can choose to do what is expected, but put my heart into what is significant.
What the article doesn’t mention is that there are several kinds of motivation. One of most common being fear. After so much rejection last fall and a winter of depression, I spent a good deal of summer thinking about how I have fetishised my identity as a writer. As a poet. What keeping up appearances has meant for the praxis of my writing. I forced myself from the fall to keep a handwritten journal, rather than an electronic one – just to remind myself that public documentation of writing does not make it any more significant.
I asked myself whether my writing time passed in a state of anxiety, of fear. Whether I was writing to prove something to the vague, indefinite judge out there of what is “good” poetry. Whether I was motivated by a fear of not being seen (ie not being “real”), … or a fear of being seen.
This week is the first week back to school. I am looking forward to meeting the students tomorrow. Looking forward to my morning routine – which includes writing.
The difference now is that I no longer think of it as the time in which I have to justify my existence.
I have been listening to John Cage’s music. Wondering what silence has to say for poetry. I’m listening to the coffee machine and its easy metered song. I’m motivated to discover what words will come from it all.
Posted in: Poetry