Well, I must have used this title for a blog post before, because in the link it added a “-2” behind it. I’ll have to go back and find out what ambushed me the last time, lol. In any event, that’s how I found myself just now while contemplating an answer to a post on FB from a poet who asked her writer friends to share how they feel about their thesauruses (or is it thesauri? :). I was thinking of a reply along the lines of how much I love mine as well as my rhyming dictionary. The bindings on both have had to be repaired, but they’re like old friends and I’ll use them until they or I fall apart. Considering the fact that I’ve not written in nearly a year, I think it’ll be the latter (unfortunately). I didn’t realize this until recently, but God taught me a lot about inspiration and following His Spirit on many a “chase” through those books. When I was “in the flow” I’d go on a search in one or both for the right word. Sometimes I would know it when I saw it. Other times I’d feel led to look up a certain synonym which would lead me to another, and another, and sometimes back again. If something didn’t feel right (I learned to trust these impressions), I moved on, though occasionally I’d have to go back to square one and start over. In most cases, I knew if I would just keep searching I’d eventually find what I was looking for. And if you believe (as I do) that everything you will ever write you have already written (stay with me here!), then you are following a trail of bread crumbs into the future. I look at it this way: if God’s going to hold me accountable for my words, then that must mean they’re written down somewhere already, right? That would explain why there were times when a line or a couplet would “come to me” and I’d “recognize” it. I knew it was mine, that it was part of something I was going to write. Kind of like writer’s deja vu (as opposed to vuja de, the feeling that none of this has ever happened before, which is my normal state of being!). Well it made sense to me anyway, lol. One of the earliest poems I wrote was a little free verse piece which tried to convey that belief.
Paint By NumberYouth painted pictures in a simpler time when lines defined freedom. I yearn for the captivity of eager spaces, counted colors, conception as accomplishment. A blank canvas before me now I hesitate, unsure of my ability to create predestination.
I always looked at that blank, white page that stared back at me as a canvas. But that’s going down a rabbit trail. Back to the ambush :) So I’m thinking about how much I enjoy writing and appreciate my writer friends, most of whom are the scholarly type and are accomplished writers themselves. For the most part I was welcomed into their group despite the fact that (compared to them) I know next to nothing and am way out of my league. I haven’t had time to visit Eratosphere and Poet and Critic, my two favorite places to hang. The West Chester Poetry Conference is coming up in June. I used to make it a point to go to at least the banquet just to mix and mingle and stay in touch, but I missed it last year to go to GSI. Anyway, as I contemplate all of this I’m suddenly overcome by emotion and tears (huge, gargantuan ones, accompanied by gasps, seriously) and I’m like What the heck? Where did this come from?! and then the realization begins to dawn that it’s never going to be like that again. My life has changed so much and is still changing, but that season (10+ years) has now passed. I think secretly I’d been holding on to the hope that I’d get back into it and pick up where I left off, but I’m getting a very strong impression that that’s not going to be the case. So I grieved, perhaps not as much as I should have because even in typing that the tears are back. They were wonderful years (for the most part, lol) and my friends taught me so much about writing. But even more important than that, they taught me a lot about how to love people where they’re at (and put up with me until I got it!). It was there I was (too) slowly cured of the need to be right (which is good because I’ve discovered I’m often not). It was there that I learned to feel others’ pain (especially the kind that comes when they feel judged). It was there that my understanding grew of how Christians come across to most people (and it isn’t a pretty sight–let’s just say that political campaigns are especially painful for me to endure). It was there that I learned to be okay with not everyone liking me (which is a snare anyway). And it was there that others helped me become a better writer and (I’d like to believe) a better person. So yeah, I’m saying goodbye officially to a bunch of people who have probably forgotten me by now anyway, but I’ll never forget them. And I’ll be forever grateful.