Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weeding Thoughts, Weeding Words

I'm supposed to be in the garden right now. Yesterday evening I mowed, so the weeds are far more noticeable. And I want to be out there working among the pink tulips, blue wood hyacinth, the blushing rhody, the budding lilacs. I'm a pretty hardy gal but I do not weed in a chilly rain - a warm misty rain, yes - but not this.

So instead, I am writing.  Maybe I should be grateful for the rain since I've just finished a draft of my third poem in two days. The pages of notes I have to write from, notes scribbled while traveling or in church on Sunday morning, to remind me of some thread that seems to be calling for examination and expression, remain untouched. The hands keep typing, though, which feels great.

The animals wonder why our breakfast is delayed and they're starting to prick my leg to nudge me along, but this is what I want to be doing - writing. When the day dawned chilly and wet, Plan B should have been: pay the bills, which have been waiting since last week. But my mind keeps weaving thoughts so I keep writing.

Today I was editing yesterday's work when an ordinary moment, something from about 13 years ago slipped into my head again to haunt me. Now that seems an oxymoron to  me: ordinary/haunting. But, though it's ordinary, it's an image that often comes to mind. Probably because it was sweet, unexpected, made me feel loved. And I crave that a lot - feeling loved. I crave romance; want to be wanted. Who doesn't? But why, of all the experiences in my past, does this one little moment keep coming to mind?

It wasn't a moment that signified the ultimate satisfaction of my wish to be desired and loved. It was an early moment in a two-year love affair, which ultimately left me sad and disappointed. But it was a sweet moment, a real moment. So I began with that and wondered why an ordinary moment can mean so much after years have passed. Then I thought of two more moments, not of the same ilk, but each their own. In the poem I describe each of the three moments. I reflect on each. And there it stops, at six three-line stanzas.

I read it over and wonder if the poem is whole. Is it saying anything? That final writer's question: so what? I don't know yet. It takes time between a draft and knowing if the work is meaningful.

At this particular moment, I think it's time to be grateful and remind myself that I'm weeding and cultivating one thing or another, rain or shine, inside or out...and that even poets need to pay the bills.

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