The spruce trees are filled with siskins whose bright voices patter and swoop. Such brilliant conversation from the world at this turn of the season, two weeks past solstice, Easter Sunday, Eostre. Even though there is still a bitter chill in the air, everything begins to consider breaking hibernation – somewhere up the hill the bears are turning in their dens, the trees must be passing the news of snowmelt from root to root deep in the ground.
And here am I, considering how to let rise my own clear and sweet spring. I have my second vaccination shot this week, and both of my large projects, the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference and Storyknife, are gearing up to commence. I’ve just finished the last set of comments on one of my grad student’s final thesis.
I feel like a little kid crammed into a too-tight sweater. Mostly what I ache to do is write poetry.
“Let us remember that in the end we go to poetry for one reason,” Christian Wiman writes, “so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both.”
Writing poetry gives me a clarity that nothing else does. A precision of vision. I find these days blurred, unsettled.
I’ve been reading Christian Wiman’s poetry and prose lately. I’m not sure that he and I would agree on what constitutes our Gods, but I am interested in his dedication to wedding beauty, poetry, divinity, and creativity. Wiman’s discourse on faith and art makes me wonder if my empty pages can be attributed to my lack of faith, not in the world, but in myself. In my inability to unclench and open up to that flow which is so integral to writing poetry.
The tattered edges of the mortality’s flag snap so loudly that I cannot disregard them.
“At some point you have to believe that the inadequacies of the words you use will be transcended by the faith with which you use them. You have to believe that poetry has some reach into reality itself, or you have to go silent,” Christian Wiman from Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet.
I am practicing to believe, which might be the first step into believing.