Saturday, April 28, 2012

What's making me happy this week

I love stealing ideas, especially good ones. Something that makes me happy every week is Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR's weekly pop culture podcast. At the end of each episode the PCHH gang discuss what's making them happy this week. As I listen I'm constantly imagination-responding, thinking, "Oooh, ooh, yeah - that made me happy, too."

Rather than just chiming in silently, I'm going to steal Pop Culture Happy Hour's idea, so that I can share the glory of whatever thing is making me happy. I intended to have this posted on Friday, because that seems like a good day for things that are making one happy, but I was at work. And also, I didn't encounter the thing that is making me happy this week till about four o'clock on Friday afternoon.

Bon Iver Erotic Stories.

This is all you need to know.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Draft draft draft draft

I suppose that title could refer to the wind you can feel moving through this space. It is almost empty, but still there is that feeling, like you've walked into what might be a scary movie. Somewhere, someone (or something) is hiding.

I guess that something is me.

Really it refers to the fact that when I go to my dashboard I see a line down the middle of the screen: draft draft draft draft. I have been thinking a lot about writing, I have even been doing some of it, but somehow the publish button stays unpushed, just unrealized potential at the bottom of the page. I've realized a lot of it is fear. I am terrified of writing. I was about to stop myself and say, "No wait - I'm terrified of people reading what I write and hating me (or worse, not loving me)," but that's not true. I am a little bit terrified of that, but I think I am just as much afraid of writing and hating myself.

I read. A lot. I am not afraid of reading. I think I'm an amazing reader. I see nuances and imagine settings  and feel characters and laugh at all the right spots (and some I'm probably not supposed to). I appreciate and recognize great writing. And it paralyzes me. Because it makes me want to do that, too. It makes me want to find just the right words and capture feelings and truths and tell stories that take you up and down and around and around. But what if (and this will happen, undoubtedly) what I write isn't as good? What if it's just terrible? Somehow my body must be convinced that if this happens I might die. That's the only thing I can think of. That is the only good excuse for not doing what I know in the depth of my being (note: find a better line than depth of my being, ugh) is something I need to be doing to survive. The world doesn't make sense until I write it down.

I'm taking a course on writing for a living. In the first class we talked about that - the idea that one writes because (and I almost quote) something something spider weaving web of words from the soul something something. Which is a perfectly good reason to write, but not really to write for a living. So now I'm trying to find that spot, where I can write for me, for my soul and so on, but also write stuff that people want to read. And that people want to pay me for.

I suppose it's also partly a war that's happening within me between earnestness and snark. I like funny, snarky writing. I really do. I also find myself in that age of aquarius place where I just want the world to be full of love. But I still want to be funny. And it's kind of hard to be funny without being mean. (Thing I just googled: how to be funny without being mean. Judd Apatow comes to mind.)

And now I have written all this and am feeling slightly anxious about putting it into the world because it is just a bunch of ideas and I feel like it should be a perfected essay in order to go out and be read, and if I try to wait for that right now it's just going to stay a draft and so I'm just going to push publish.

Most of this is inspired by reading I've been doing lately. Other blogs. Especially ones where people are dealing with desire and doubt. Like Christina Kelly's. That name feels so good to read again; those Sassy ladies felt like... what and who I wanted to be. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dreams by Mary Oliver

by Mary Oliver

All night
the dark buds of dreams

In the center
of every petal
is a letter,
and you imagine

if you could only remember
and string them all together
they would spell the answer.
It is a long night,

and not an easy one—
you have so many branches,
and there are diversions—
birds that come and go,

the black fox that lies down
to sleep beneath you,
the moon staring
with her bone-white eye.

Finally you have spent
all the energy you can
and you drag from the ground
the muddy skirt of your roots

and leap awake
with two or three syllables
like water in your mouth
and a sense

of loss—a memory
not yet of a word,
certainly not yet the answer—
only how it feels

when deep in the tree
all the locks click open,
and the fire surges through the wood,
and the blossoms blossom.


Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
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Toronto, Canada
I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.