Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Looking back.

Today I spent an hour or so writing in a book. That's right, you heard it here: pen, paper, by hand, in a book.

Awhile ago I had the insight that there was a usefulness in keeping a daybook--a way to record my emotional temperature, as it were, and speaking of climate change, as well as the little things I notice and think. Over the years, such a practice has yielded plenty of poems, but it's also a way to frame my days and think through them. Something about writing by hand, I think, makes a difference.

Of course, the fact that I had this insight didn't mean that I actually kept the daybook. In fact, the book isn't quite half full, and I have entries dating back to 2002. Most of my composing I've been doing, for years now, at a keyboard. Anyway, looking back through it gives me a glimpse at certain themes: I love flowers. I love observing the weather. And I think I should simplify my life to make more space for writing.

In 2002: "Today, silence, the joy of it. The only trouble with silence is, it makes me a little giddy, what to do with it all."

In 2003: "Wanting more time, quiet time."

May 2003: "Want to keep focused, and also to stay relaxed. Feel I should start writing this week. Long enough from school--time to start. Want to make headway."

August 2003: "not trusting myself--this crazy this so easily off-balanced"

And this, January 2004:
I want order but not law.
I want time.
I want the field in back of my house to stay a field.
I want to wake up to my husband's body forever.
I want fire.
I want color, sparkle, and gleam.
I want the spangled garment of my flesh to flash like a fish in sunlit water.
I want light feet, vertical leap, speed.
I want language, my familiar, to sleep and wake with me like cat.
I want all my chances back.


  1. Beautiful.
    You don't need to write "a poem" you just write and it IS a poem.
    I like the idea of such a book also. And have trouble making it real.

  2. "Flesh to flash"--wow! Gorgeous.



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