Thursday, December 5, 2013

December, December, and some personal reflection...

There is always an excuse for quitting NaNoWriMo before I'm finished. Last year, it was because I wanted to burn my book in a fire* and because I was going to be on the road for about a week. This year, we had a death in our friend group and we were watching another friend's children while she was out of town. I had planned to write through the kids' visit (and even set-up a writer's nest in the mudroom), but the combined effort of copping with everything going on=a hot mess.

There is a poem that always seems to pop up in my life when I'm struggling with particularly difficult deaths. Outside of Dickinson's Because I could not stop for death, I think this is probably one of her most famous poems. I found the first one to be too abstract- but maybe it was my high school lit teacher singing the lyrics to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas that ruined that poem for me. I've had a collection of Dickinson's poetry since middle school, and this was the poem, of all her collected poems, that resonated deeply with me. For mother's day, I printed this poem and framed it as a gift to my mother.

Several years ago, when Pam died, two of our family friends also passed away of the same disease around the same time. This happened around the time I started this blog. It was a rough. I lost three women who were dear to my heart and role models for what strong, intelligent women can do in a world, as long as they stay true to themselves and their passions.  On the back of the program for Helen, this poem was printed. I took it, framed it, and put it in my home. It felt right.

I don't know what it is about this poem that follows me. The Sunday that we found out about Jade's death, it popped up in my pinterest. It was just there. It's just here. So I want to share it with you.
Hope is the thing with feathers
By Emily Dickinson 
Hope is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops-at all- 
And sweetest-in the Gale-is heard-
And sore must be the storm-
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm- 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land-
And on the strangest Sea-
Yet-never-in Extremity,
It asked a crumb-of me.

I gave myself permission to let this goal go and focus on the people in my life who need some love (myself included). It has been a rough November. The difference between last year and this year is that I'm going to finish this book. I don't think it's any good, but I like my weird little queer hunter with her weird little family of thieves, knitters, and sailors. I keep having flashes of how I want to go on with it- so I'm going to make that happen.

I don't know how to lead a slow life, readers. I full-tilt run through my days and that's mostly how I like it. This is the first full day kid-free and I think I'm finally letting myself feel all the feelings about everything that's happened in the past two weeks. I've been weepy all morning. I wish I could take a couple days off to just be in the moment and sit with these emotions. I may hermit this weekend to bake, and write, and feel all the feels.

I'm excited about April already, and not just because it's the month between my two wedding anniversaries, but because Abbey and I are going to NaPoWriMo (yeah, buddy). One of the side effects of intense prose writing is that I have a pretty extensive list of ideas for poems that I didn't have the time to pen. By then, I want to get the mud room totally cleaned out and converted into a writing room. I'm getting a sweet space heater/fake fire/iPod player for Yule from my lovely wife, and a dear friend is donating her beautiful antique desk. I have plans for this mud room. It will be nice to have a room of my own.

*This would have been unfortunate, as I only write on my laptop. Can you burn a cloud? Questions for a future generation.