(In this series of posts about radical self care and/through major life change, I am finally taking some time to find the words for what I’ve been dealing with over the last month, since the birth of my nephew. I am thinking about how and why we choose to survive, how much effort is involved, how and why we choose to take care of ourselves, and how to allow ourselves to walk with all that life throws at us with even a modicum of grace and celebration.)
Good morning, beautiful writers. It’s a thick sheet of wet outside my window today. How is the atmosphere percolating where you are? What has the morning brought you so far on this day?
This morning I am all ache and storm. I am exhaustion that has taken root behind my bones and deep inside my eyes. I am thick with all I’m not accomplishing right now, full of how my scattered attentions are disappointing everyone. I cannot do enough. I am not enough for anything that needs me right now. I run from appointment to appointment, keeping my face a mask of Yes, Everything’s Fine — How Can I Help You? A mask of showing up. A mask hiding this question: When will it be time for me to rest? When will it be time for me to fall apart?
(all of the intersections in and around Boston are dangerous!)
Good morning, writers! Outside my window right now, construction workers are jackhammering pavement. The birds have all gone silent, with or some other, more difficult emotion, maybe. The city is all city sounds right now.
How is WriOursWhoMo treating you so far? How are you honoring the intersections within you: the intersections of trauma and song, the intersections of longing and loss, the intersections of aftermath and resilience?
Good morning, good morning, writers.
Today I am hectic and rushing around. I want to give you something thoughtful and deep, but the puppy is calling for my attention, and the more I try to type, the more she bumps my elbow trying to get me to get up and take her out into the rain and play ball. So what I have for this second day of WriOursWhoMo is a poem and a prompt:
Oakland graffiti of Assata’s Affirmation
I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
These are the alone days. Did you hear the wind last night? Rumi says the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; don’t go back to sleep. But what do the poets say about the tempest at night?
You must ask for what you really want… Rumi says this, too, in the same poem. This means knowing what you really want — and then asking, even when you know with all of your heart that you don’t deserve it. Ask anyway. Write it down in your notebook, put it in the hands of those who love you, share your becoming with the world.
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Today I’m thinking of writing community, about how we shape a community that can hold us when we are struggling — more than that, about how to allow ourselves to be held, to believe that we deserve that. Today I’m thinking about desire and creative emergence and the aftermath of trauma — how trauma keeps on taking from us, years and years after those hands are removed from our bodies. Continue reading
Good morning — can you feel the hard grey wash outside your window? Is it revealed, or hidden under the blue? I refilled the feeder, and the birds have returned — mostly house finches, a black-capped chickadee or two. The weather’s coming in and I just want to snuggle up on the couch with the puppy, a cup of tea, and Jane Vandenburgh’s The Architecture of the Novel instead of sitting up here at the keyboard, banging against my own book.
So let me blog instead.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Do you feel unaware of sexual assault? I would like a different tagline. I understand the need for X Awareness Months, so that organizations and government entities can rally around a particular cause, so that issues we would otherwise prefer to ignore get a bit more of the attention, resources and airtime that they deserve.
Yesterday, either online or on the radio, I was confronted with plenty of stories about sexual assault– not because it’s April, or because the media I was engaging with had any heightened coverage of sexual violence, but because people perpetrate sexually violent acts on a daily basis. Continue reading
"take your dreams for reality"
in my dream I was trying to describe the book Special Topics in Calamity Physics to someone, but I couldn’t remember the title, and I turned into something very long, that ended in, “the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Someone was trying to remember along with me, someone else, and we said that second title at the same time, delighted that we’d been able to remember — then I said, but it isn’t that book, the Oscar Wao, it’s a different story.
(click on the image to check out Jo Bell's other photos)
It’s the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and National Poetry Month. How are you marking this time?
Today I got up and did my morning pages, and now I’m going to go do some stretches and yoga before I have to get ready to catch the bus.
I love graffiti like this
Good morning! Up late last night means I slept in today — Two hours for one means a little less sleep than I’ve been getting recently, and so this blog feels a little sleepy.
(Photo by Marc P/Flickr)
Last week, she said, At the end of the day, the body always lands on yes.
What if that’s true?