Blue. To let blue in. Early morning blue and middle of the night blue. The hue of deep rivers and the hue of Steller’s jays. A color that flexes depending on what reflects it, evoking peace, spaciousness, as well as sorrow.
It is January of 2021 which is precisely eleven years after I started this website/ blog/ newsletter amalgam. I haven’t posted anything for the last year because my former server suddenly stopped supporting all of the intricate behind-the-scenes codes necessary for me to update securely. And the hassle and difficulty to move everything seemed so insurmountable in the middle of it all.
Lately, though, I’ve felt that snippets and sound-bytes on social media maybe aren’t enough. The maelstrom of pick-pick-pick on such platforms lends one play it safe so as not to arouse ire, self-righteous indignation, punishment. At the beginning of the year, I admitted on Facebook that I hadn’t posted the number of books that I read in 2020 because I did not want to deal with mean-spirited remarks. (For the record, 154 books, 106 of which were poetry collections).
Indigo. How to navigate loss while remembering how lucky one is?
Cerulean. Aiming for the sucker-hole when the whole sky is grey but for that one opportunity.
So, here I am at a new server. The downside – 270 blog posts gone. Sure, I have the text of them saved on my computer, but I don’t have all of your incredible comments, the conversations, the cross-linking, the connections. The silence is painful; I’m sorry to have lost your words that were precious to me. The upside – I guess I’ll be pushing some of my words out here into this space. I hope that they will find a home in the hearts of those who need them.
Here is my first post, almost exactly eleven years ago on January 19, 2010. I stand by it.
2010 has begun in my small town with rain on snow. The weather has been relentlessly gloomy, perfect for introspection. My family has undergone some harrowing medical issues recently and these have reminded me that life is not endless. All this adds up to a desire to be more purposeful. Poetry is an art made up of purposeful choices by its very nature. Samuel Taylor Coleridge defined poetry as the “best words in the best order,” not “just any words thrown onto the page in a moment of heightened emotion.” Can the process of writing poetry be a practice for a way of life? I’m not alone in thinking that it can be; other poets have examined this issue and I hope in the future to bring them into the conversation (either via their work, or in the case of some, in their “electronic” person). Meanwhile, consider what being purposeful in your writing and in your life might mean. Could you choose the way you approach decisions in your life with the same degree of purposefulness as you employ in writing poetry?
For the next few days try the following: Craft the decisions in your life like you would craft a line of poetry – for balance, for beauty, for deeper meaning.