Exactly as Tell the Turning wrapped its Kickstarter campaign—at a number of backers and also of dollars that humbles my spirit a bit to truly consider—a new book, which I have been Gathering for some time, emerged from its pre-dawn-grey unknowing, and began to show me how it might be Shaped.
I thought: Hello, friend!
I thought: Thank God, a project.
I thought: Wait, when will you stop and get some rest?
I’m currently negotiating with depression, I guess?, and also (like so many) navigating the asteroid belt of finally being vaccinated—now what? Between those things, and just…capitalism, I am not rested. I don’t mean I’m missing sleep. I mean I’m deficient in pleasant, restorative, unproductive time.
What do I do instead? Well, I do try to rest. I’m learning I don’t have to keep my less-healthy patterns. I’m thinking a lot about what rest means and how I can invite it. More on that soon, I think.
And I practice my craft. It’s work, yes. But it’s the best kind: an anchor of my sanity and joy. Even when it doesn’t make me happy in the moment, it contributes consistently to becoming the person I want to be.
I love collaborating on creative projects. I love publishing my work. I love talking about my work. (<<That’s Lucy & me discussing Tell the Turning at about minute 17 of my friends’ Sarah & Michael’s variety show. Bonus: kittens!)
But the beating heart of what I love—what I need—about being a poet is the most basic bit: making poetry. Doing the work. Shaping word and pause and rhythm, in patterns that converse with the silence that invited them into being.
So. I’ll turn off the internet now, and go back to—among All The Things—Shaping that new book. Practice doesn’t make anything perfect, but it makes for all kinds of good in my regular, boring, sometimes-inexplicably-difficult, wonder-full life.