Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Self-Assessment of Sorts

I remember this girl--a girl from a few years ago (four years, at the most...perhaps fewer than that, even)--who wrote prolifically. Mostly poetry, but I do mean prolifically. Every day. For many minutes of her day.

Of course, that girl had the luxury of being a Creative Writing student. She had a couple hours' bus rides each weekday (well, slightly less...but close to that). Toward the end, she used that bus time for conversations with a then-boyfriend. For infectious amounts of hand-holding. But even after he was gone, even after school was finished, she still wrote poetry--prolifically--for a while.

This girl is, of course, me. Or rather, was me.

While I have, yes, been writing, I don't remember the last time I actually attempted to pen a poem. (And back then it was, yes, always pen. A ballpoint pen, medium-tipped, preferably black. Blue was also suitable, but never had the same feel.)

And periodically I have these moments: moments where I think of something. A four-word phrase. A sentence that could potentially start a poem. And do you know what I do? I shy away from them. While I wouldn't say it's necessarily an active impulse, I avoid writing those things down. Right now, I'm trying to figure out why.

Part of me wants to say that I avoid these things because poetry presents more of a risk--that somehow a person who writes poetry reveals more of him or herself than someone who writes, well, anything else. And that's simply not true. Writers who have any sense of personal style are perennially revealing themselves in small ways.

I suppose the long and short of it is this: I need to stop copping out. Someday soon, I will sit down, suck it up, and write. A POEM.

Friday, November 26, 2010

One of Those Cheesy Thanksgiving Posts

You know, the kind where I provide you a list of what I'm grateful for. Except that I'm not really feeling super listy today, so I'll stick to just one--the cheesiest (yet truest) of them all: I'm super grateful for my family.

I'm super grateful for a silly goober of a five-year-old nephew whose antics make me laugh, for a pretty-in-pink young niece who sometimes likes to cuddle up and read book after book with me, and for a two-year-old nephew who (usually) doesn't pout for long. I'm grateful for two new babies--one boy, one girl--who are equally adorable in their own individual ways.

For two excellent parents who feed me well when I visit them. Who play games with us and talk with us and laugh with us.

For an older sister who, in spite of recalling my own Thanksgiving clumsy moments of the past, still can make me laugh. And who was karmically repaid with a clumsy Thanksgiving moment of her own.

For a younger sister who makes an amazing young mother, and one of my best-book readin' friends.

For an older brother I can get along with quite well now, as was not always the case. As I told him after going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, with his wife last week: I kinda like them both.

For the younger brother who willingly carts to these events--one, sometimes, two ways. For good car conversations with him. And the good music he shares.

And last but not least, for a good-humored set of grandparents. (Sorry, again, Grandpa, that I thought you were Grandma on the phone yesterday morning when Mom called with a turkey question.)