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one day i will turn around

December 11, 2011

I walked in the rain to Valentine’s.

After a sentence like that, there should be no question whom I was going to see. The poets, of course! Only the poets go out in the rain and end up at a dive called Valentine’s. There was some amazing poetry. I love this shot of Shannon and Kevin. (And you can see Elizag’s head just beyond Shannon’s shoulder.) I’m impressed by the new work that is being generated by this newest event from Albany Poets, and, always fascinated by the hundreds of lines these poets have memorized.

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November was a month of tears. I spent much of November pouring out to everyone everything that was wrong with the life I have started. The result seems to be that I am able to repair some of it. With help. I asked for help. It felt like I was losing my dignity at the time, but I see it now as putting myself out there for a better outcome. It’s an art I’m actually practiced in. Putting myself out there. I wish it felt like an asset more of the time because I do feel like it can be. Anyway …

December feels like a month of strength, of establishing myself. As a single person. As a mother. As a daughter and sister. As a friend. Even as the kind of “ex” I want to be and don’t want to be. It’s interesting stuff, this reinvention. I’d handled the logistics over the summer and into the fall (and of course experienced much of the pain), but I had no energy for the emotional work.

I could claim its path has something to do with the solstice. That all of it was preparation for the light to return. But that’s a poet’s foolish heart speaking. The only lights so far are the giant white globes strung around a tiny tree on a wooden box as I type this. Nonetheless, *I* put those lights there. With help. The actual work was done by three beautiful young men who make me feel like I have everything I need.

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I’m finishing up The Chronology of Water. Deb gave me her copy of it when I was in Portland last month. It’s an amazing memoir. Full of refrains. Full of poetry. Fragments. Made-up words. And brave. Brave. Brave. Brave. I’m beginning to figure out why it’s been so hard for me to write poems. I’ve been afraid.

But what’s the point of writing at all if I am not willing to be brave? I’ve been so hesitant to write The Truth. When did that happen? It’s almost embarrassing that it happened. I mean, who can’t say, after a break-up, that she’s angry with her ex because he wasn’t the same person she married? Pretty standard stuff, right? Hardly a betrayal to say so. It’s kind of what’s assumed. I’m not saying it’ll make great poetry, but I’m saying I’m tired of being afraid of it.

I’m pissed off. I’m hurt. The love was gone from my marriage long before I pointed it out. He gave up on me long before I left.

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“… Happy as can be
I got my babies by my side.
One day I will turn around
& they will all be grown.”

~Edie Brickell in “Waiting for Me”

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Something I’ve rediscovered since living on my own is an interest in following a handful of TV shows. I’ve never been a television junkie, but I always had a couple of shows I didn’t want to miss. Over the years, the TV became my husband’s domain (it got so bad, I couldn’t even use the remote properly), and I’d dive into my computer while he watched or I’d leave the house entirely.

But now, I’m remembering the magic of finding some characters you love and following their stories. I really want to like Grimm (set in my beloved Portland), but the formula is already wearing on my nerves and I didn’t enjoy the detective chasing a goblin-thing through Multnomah Falls as much as I thought I would. What I’m really loving are two shows: Once Upon A Time (so many entanglements!) and Modern Family (laugh out loud funny!).

It seems ridiculous to count TV viewing as an emotional victory, so I won’t go that far. And I’ll certainly admit it would be nice to have someone to share them with. But … it’s nice. That’s all. To make time for leisure and diversions. And to have my own remote.

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4 Comments
  1. December 12, 2011 3:28 pm

    That first line is a poem waiting to be written… one of these days, mind if I come up to Albany and see what all the fuss is about? There’s such a Hudson Valley poets community that seems so much more laidback than the NYC crowd. (Oy.)

    I don’t think anyone can fault you for time, and you shouldn’t fault yourself, either. Every person, pairing, situation, ending, and new beginning are different, so why be beholden to how things “should” go? Do what’s right by you, in the way you need to, and those who care for you will give their support (and wait eagerly for poems, like seals poised for fish).

  2. December 14, 2011 7:14 am

    Yeah. Brave. You and her both. Lidia just has worked on her ms a little more. šŸ™‚ I am so excited you loved the book. That it was the right book right at the right time. I love her style and fierceness. I like your style and fierceness. Your words are going to pour out. They will, because they have to.

    I didn’t like Grimm, either. Too weird in a wishing it were cool-spooky kind of way. I don’t know the second one, but you know how I adore Modern Family. The holiday one just needs to be “rewound” and I will watch it. Maybe this weekend.

    xoxo

  3. December 15, 2011 3:42 pm

    I like modern family too

  4. December 26, 2011 11:00 am

    Dear Carolee, Open yourself just a little. Write one word at a time. I, too, am afraid of what needs to be written. But it does need to be written, and we need the act of creation to free us.

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