33 Comments

  1. Oh, this is wonderful. It’s so good to hear your voice again. I am so sorry to hear about the student at your school. And there is something, everything, inevitable about our endings – and sometimes I think it’s only the West that chooses to be surprised by them.

  2. Words are always problematic for poets, because the real language of poetry doesn’t yet exist. I’ve spent the last 50 years trying to find it or invent it. No success so far. And what you say about just listening – sometimes I am glad that I seem so far removed from the world that when people talk to me it doesn’t make me think; it just flows. R

  3. “I have the feeling it is difficult news” is open ended – with no answer wrapping this story up in a bow of blue ribbon. Realistic. You’re slices of life vignettes rivet me. Every. Single. Time.

  4. I love this: “Maybe I will always be a poet because I am dissatisfied with language. ”
    Loving it and simultaneously dissatisfied, even frustrated with it. That’s perhaps what some people call “creative tension”? I don’t know.

    In my experience, people who are dying–actually physically dwindling into the realm where the body shuts down–are often surprising. A dog! Who knew, right?

  5. Your description included. Beautiful. Meaning is intimate. How else beside the universe of experience that we are. We each, being the singular source of how we see. More more, the shorter I see my living, the more I appreciate everything. To exist, phenomenal. How didn’t I see that all along? Choices are consequence. Meaning is the part we eat. Choose well.

    I like listening to you. (whether or not I always understand every word, no matter)

  6. Don’t poets create new meaning with every word they write? And meaning doesn’t have to be something that anyone else understands. Though, of course, the greatest writing is that which contains a universal truth. But then that’s not to say that something only we understand right now won’t have meaning for others in the fullness of time. We’re all good enough, btw. And what Neil says – it is a wonderful thing, to listen to your voice.

  7. As I age, the presence of birds, the idiosyncrasies of my pup, all take on new meaning or no meaning. I no longer interfere when a hawk swoops for a dove.

  8. This scrap goes like this. Define wild. Is one being free of human judgmental restraint/obligation? Is one answer simply, wild, what isn’t? Maybe that isn’t even two.

    “If you want to stop rumination, partner up with a pragmatist.” Makes me laugh. Embrace everything. Hold onto nothing. Is that balance? Does that apply?

  9. “If you want to stop rumination, partner up with a pragmatist.” LIke you, Ren, I am married to a Norwegian pragmatist (aren’t all Norwegians pragmatists? Now there’s a question – I think they are, formed as they are by the land and the weather), but it doesn’t seem to have stopped my ruminating, my constant asking questions of myself, not most of the time anyway. But I do find M anchors me when I am in danger of floating too far off the surface of the planet – maybe that’s what they do best, these pragmatists, just occasionally bring us dwn when we start to become too fanciful. And wild, I miss wild, in all senses of the word.

    • it’s so interesting that someone commented on Facebook using a balloon as his image… we’re all floating off! maybe that’s its own form of wild?

  10. I like this. (nothing to do with that “like” button) Unexpected I find some alignment in my own sense of what-me-wants. Not that desire to dig something up when I’m willing to just let writing take a rest, trust the pace it wants to have. Not backwards at all.

  11. I could relate to this post and am beginning to get a sense of alignment too like Neil. It feels right to take the breaks I’m taking. No longer damming the flow of wanting some space, some silence and letting the writing rest for a while.

  12. I know what you mean about means. I have not been able to access my study/studio/garden-office for almost 3 months because I’ve gladly given it over to my son who has moved back here with his feral cat. And on bad days, I blame my lack of access to it for the lack of order and structure and solitude in my head and through that my perceived lack of progress/creativeness. But when I look at it rationally, that’s just a lie – all I really need is a pen and my notebook and this machine to create what I need to create. Having said that, I feel like 75% of my person is in that room, its books, its pictures. But then the question is, like you said, where is my centre? It’s in my head rather than anywhere else, surely.

  13. When I read this yesterday (and my phone won’t let me like your posts when I’m mobile – damn modern technology), I wondered about poetry and death. Don’t poets meditate on their own death every time they write, in one way or another? Maybe I’m being simplistic (and I know that my thoughts on poetry probably aren’t as deep and complex as yours), but that’s how I see it most of the time. But I can see how active meditation on one’s own death would induce anxiety rather than anything else, and it’s not something I’d contemplate doing either. I suppose I could write a whole post about how sport is contemplation of death (in the abstract and the real bearing in mind the sports I played and hope to play again), but I think I’ll leave that for another time….

  14. Perhaps the lack of time is just a longing for the end of the winter. That’s the pot of gold. And yet – we all get frustrated at this never-ending cycle that always returns us to winter, always returns us in one way or another to somewhere we’ve been before.

  15. Ouch. Recognition for some of these kinda memories. High points, low points, what difference now. Now it’s like this… couple doctors say, “pretty good, considering”, but why then do I feel like I do. More now I feel both sides of judgments at the same time, not taking turns. Wisdom is an ellusiveness if anything. Everything all at once, yea, getting to be that way. I try to lean into good faith with life. Is that wisdom? I try. Not all, but many people are more kind than me. (pay me no mind)

  16. Perhaps that’s why we are where we are – because we don’t like the networking, the manipulations and machinations. But then, if we need all those to be what others, and we, might term successful (artists and people), is that price worth paying? I think not. I, too, wish for a slower life, Sundays spent pottering about rather than striving to do more and more and more and more. I love that final para – genius.

  17. I had this thought, looking into the ocean from above, into a world that never stays in the same place for very long. Comforting and frightening at the same time.

    Then I thought, Fish don’t waste time with thoughts like these. Swim, just swim.

  18. I woke up this morning thinking all my words, written and spoken, were a waste of space and breath. But they’re not. But sometimes it’s a relief just to take a few steps back and say nothing and just to breathe.

  19. Some stories are so hard to dwell on, you don’t need to listen to someone else’s version.
    Anyway, Danny Kaye and the inchworm song. I do remember that one. “Seems to me you’d stop and see how beautiful they are.” That’s the part that stuck with me.

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