I spent Labor Day weekend going through all the poetry I’ve written over the last six years. I did this in preparation for a writer’s retreat I will be attending at Laity Lodge at the end of the month with Julia Kasdorf. We can send her a poem if we wish.
Well, I don’t wish. Nothing is good enough. I spent the weekend revising and deleting.
Going through the poems provided rather interesting commentary on my life.
Here’s the shorthand of my life during those years:
2006-Move shortly after starting with magazine. Join writer’s group.
2007-Mom’s cancer returns after 23-year remission. More articles.
2008-More cancer. Start column.
2009-More cancer. Start editing.
2011-Life as we know it.
Note the writing drought of 2010. I could not write those first six months after Mom died. I hardly even remember those first six months. If I had not had to write for my job, I would not have written at all.
Late in that year, my drought began to break. Our writers group started a book called “Poemcrazy” by Susan Wooldridge. It was the beginning of me writing again. We’re now on our fourth poetry book.
Life does beget writing–I started writing more poems when I got busier with the magazine–but it also takes it away. There are things, particularly things about my children, that I can’t write, not even as poems.
By the way, my poem tally does not include the 72 poems I wrote during my mom’s last two years. They occupy a separate section of my life: Cancer World. If you’ve been there, for yourself or for a loved one, you know it defies time and space.
And I still have absolutely no idea what poem I might send to Julia.