The Rowing Endeth By Anne Sexton

THE ROWING ENDETH                               by Anne Sexton
I’m mooring my rowboat
at the dock of the island called God.
This dock is made in the shape of a fish
and there are many boats moored
at many different docks.
“It’s okay.” I say to myself,
with blisters that broke and healed
and broke and healed –
saving themselves over and over.
And salt sticking to my face and arms like
a glue-skin pocked with grains of tapioca.
I empty myself from my wooden boat
and onto the flesh of The Island.

“On with it!” He says and thus
we squat on the rocks by the sea
and play – can it be true –
a game of poker.
He calls me.
I win because I hold a royal straight flush.
He wins because He holds five aces,
A wild card had been announced
but I had not heard it
being in such a state of awe
when He took out the cards and dealt.
As he plunks down His five aces
and I am still grinning at my royal flush,
He starts to laugh,
and laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth
and into mine,
and such laughter that He doubles right over me
laughing a Rejoice-Chorus at our two triumphs.
Then I laugh, the fishy dock laughs
the sea laughs. The Island laughs.
The Absurd laughs.

Dearest dealer,
I with my royal straight flush,
love you so for your wild card,
that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
and lucky love.

~ Anne Sexton

Note: And this.

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Wild Geese by Mary Oliver (I needed this today.)

Wild Geese                                                               by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver
My note:  Maybe another soul out there needs it too.

Dragging my laptop to desk is like walking “the green mile”

Apr.29,15

But I had to. I needed something that accepts my thoughts as fast as I can think them, and I can’t write that fast. I have a lot to say but I’ve just been spinning in f’ing circles, outside of writing, with peripheral stuff that doesn’t matter. Shit, I should get back to my blog, as least it has spell-check. I swear to god, I could do this all day. Someday, one day I should try that, do that, sit in front of this thing all damn day. It’s just, I feel guilty, like I should be doing something else, be outside, or cleaning, or anything but this but it, this is so fucking god damn much fun. I read the other day that some (well-known) writer used to tie himself to his chair.

***********************

Oh Jaysus. I am giggling inside. I have waited so long I feel like a there’s a fucking volcano saying hahahaha inside me.   Oh dear lord, please hold my hand, please stand beside me, because I am so afraid.

Okay, well, that’s about all I got for now. Now that I’m past the fear here I am, moved over to my desk, and can’t think of anything else to say. Cheeeerist. I mean, I have suddenly and completely blanked out on why I want to be here and the reason I came. Son of a bitch. Was it something I said? Was it because I didn’t capitalize “lord”, Lord? Oh God. Well. I guess that’s it, then. I’ll just go sit down. But, first I’ll do the exercise from Boot-camp (from Writer’s Digest, online).

Dear writer’s block:

You’re an asshole. I can’t stand you. You are such a dick. You make me want to throw up. You are really mean. I wish you would go to hell and never bother anyone again. You are a phantom so I don’t even know why I am writing this letter. For all the people whom you have ever bothered I want to tell you that you can go suck it. Go suck a big one. I hope you choke on it.

Yours truly,

– S

*******************

Apr.30,15

God! Now, look what I did, by coming over to my desk! I made a big ass deal out of it and now I have nothing to say. I don’t get it. I’m not leaving. I can sit in front of this thing all day, I don’t have to be anywhere. I believe in myself. For me, this is the only way out, through. I wish I didn’t believe that but I do.

I remember the time I was watching Oprah when she said to one of her guests, I forget who, Movie star cry, movie star cry, meaning look up when your eyes are filling up with tears, so they don’t run down your face and ruin your makeup. It totally works.

After I get to my desk and get started, I wish I never had to be anywhere. I wish I could just sit here and talk about all the things I want to say, and all the things I wanted to do, and just be my own dumb therapist (look up, look up!)and witness,and have a nice tiny, tidy break-down, then back together again right here. That’s why I like drinking; it’s so convenient. You get to take a vacation without leaving home.

*****************

Apr30,15

The other day a new psychiatrist asked me about my startle response. I doubled over in my chair, laughing. I told her my response was so high that I’d given my son a high startle response. It wasn’t funny, no. It’s horrific.

I am losing my mind and I don’t have the energy to save myself. I don’t think. Or at least, not the way I’m going.

****************

May9,15

God, that took a long time, getting back here. I’ve been almost nearly inert. God why does almost every thought I have run and hide when I sit down in front of this fucking thing, at my desk, to write? she wailed. God, she said through gritted teeth. Then she said, Because it’s fun and I make you laugh. And so I said, Wow, you should totally get over yourself. And she said, Don’t worry, I probably will sooner than you think. And that cracked her up and she felt better and wrote it down.

Before I forget, on May 5, Cinco De Mayo I said this really cool thing but forgot to Tweet it. I texted a couple of my friends and said, I love you a million avocados. But don’t steal it. Like, you can’t use it. I’m still using it. You can have it after I use it next year.

(I know this was long; (:?) just toss me when I become annoying.

 

 

TED Talk re the Creative Process E Gilbert Nails it

After watching this talk I could not not post the link to it here.  Her talk describes my own process, and maybe yours as well, of writing. Specifically, writing poetry. She touches on how the Divine is a part of that process.

I have always known this to be true; that writing comes through me, not necessarily from me. That I’m (often) only a scribe.

I’ve always thought of it as being touched by the hand of You Know. Or maybe better, touching that hand. That’s a pretty big assertion but it’s true, and the best way I can describe the experience.  And, the experience is beyond and beyond bliss.  It’s what gives me the courage to keep coming back to the often-for-me-terrifyingly-blank page.

 

Questions For My Nominees

Here is my list of questions for my Liebster nominees:

  1. In grade school who broke your heart?
  2. What three things could you not live without on a deserted island?
  3. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
  4. Do you play a musical instrument? If not, which one would you like to learn?
  5. What was your most embarrassing childhood experience?
  6. What’s your go-to comfort food?
  7. What’s on your nightstand that you’re reading now?
  8. When did you realize that writing made you happy?
  9. If you could have lunch with any person not living, who would that person be? And why?
  10. Who is your favorite poet, or poem?

Nominated for the Liebster Award

Hi All, Well that was the shortest sabbatical ever.  I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by lovely fellow-blogger PaigeRita. It is for bloggers with 200 or less followers. Thank you, Paige!!

The rules she gave are as such:

  • Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the questions they asked
  • Nominate 10 bloggers with under 200 followers
  • Inform the bloggers you have nominated them
  • Post 10 questions for them to answer

The bloggers I nominate are Donna,  Deane, Art,  Dear Sylvia, De Novo, thataddictedgirl, artlesslyfit , Harrison’s Blog, and the TJ Blog. I’m short one because all the other blogs I follow have over 200 followers.

The questions Paige gave me (and the answers) are below:

  • What is the history of/meaning behind your name? If you’d rather not put your name online, what is the background of your blog title? Answer:  I love poetry and words, and I found out that there really are words that rhyme with orange, hence Orange Blorenge (a mountainous region in…oh just ask me. I’ll tell you).
  • Where is the most exciting place you’ve been and what did you see? In my own mind and heart. And I saw mostly good but some not-so-good
  • What is your earliest memory? Uh…ask my therapist.
  • Did you ever do anything hilariously horrible as a kid? What was it? (Bonus points if it involves embarrassing a parent.) I was about seven and my friend and I were playing with matches in a field and set it on fire.  We ran.  The fire-department came. I got grounded for a long time.
  • What awards have you won? What is your favorite? I once won $500 for a philosophy paper I wrote in college. 
  • What blog post of your own is your favorite so far? The poem that fell out of me about my mother.
  • Do you have any outfits that makes you feel totally great about your body? Describe it!  I’m a tom-boy but I scored and bought what otherwise would be very expensive little silk black dress at a thrift-store that fell/draped over my body like uh, I wouldn’t mind wearing to the Oscars. It sits in my closet unworn.  Ever.
  • What is your favorite thing about yourself/best attribute of your body?  My cheek-bones, with which I could dial a telephone.
  • Do you have any unusual talents? I know all the words to the Brady Bunch theme song.
  • What do you think would make for the greatest meal? A medium-rare steak, corn, and a baked potato.  Lava cake for dessert.

Sometimes I Want to Give Up

I’ve been thinking lately about my writing dreams, and the steps I’ll have to take to realize them (the steps themselves are dreams). Dreams:  meaning “good luck with that!”  At least that’s the sarcasm I hear in my head.  The obstacles are many. Not the least of which is I’m running out of fucking time. And, I need to get a fucking boundary

Last April I felt really on track. In the zone.  Things seemed possible (though maybe not probable). My trajectory was true. Then I got derailed, for the nth time. You can read about that, and about my throwing my laptop out the window here.

Now I’m feeling hopeful again.  Sort of back on track after grieving losing all the momentum and flow I’d built up.  And I’m trying to find out this:  Am I acting like I’m a victim of interruptions?  Or am I not just not doing my part to keep out the distractions and interruptions.  Are they the same thing? My thought, even though it pains me, is that I want people to like me.  I want to be “nice.”  When really, to get anything done, I truly need to be to militant.

And, shit, I’ve underestimated how big  a part being militant is, and how maybe that’s the bulk of what makes writing real work:  paring down commitments, and availability; junking the junk mail; setting a time limit on how much I read others’ writing (everything is a give and take).  I’ve never so keenly felt,  known, how the decisions I make today decide my tomorrow  (I forget where I read that). And if not now, when? When does it get to be my time?

(I’ve been interrupted half a dozen times since I began this post. Reading it, it feels erratic – I’d planned to write it straight through).

It’s not in my nature, maybe because I’m a woman, to be hard-core-leave-me-the-fuck-alone. And see?  I don’t even know how to say it nicely.  I know two extremes:  Sure, I can do that, and Leave me the fuck alone.  There must be a balance somewhere. But maybe at first I need to shout, the only alternative to being run over, used, my needs ignored.  Maybe later,  I’ll be able to make my way back to the middle.

I don’t love this post.  But I’m going to publish it.  Even though my voice sounds stilted.  But I’m out of time. Today, this is simply what it is.

 

 

 

A Favorite Poem by David Whyte

No One Told Me

No one told me
it would lead to this.
No one said
there would be secrets
I would not want to know.

No one told me about seeing,
seeing brought me
loss and darkness I could not hold.

No one told me about writing
or speaking.
Speaking and writing poetry
I unsheathed the sharp edge
of experience that led me here.

No one told me
it could not be put away.
I was told once, only,
in a whisper,
“The blade is so sharp-
It cuts things together
-not apart.”

This is no comfort.
My future is full of blood,
from being blindfold,
hands outstretched,
feeling a way along its firm edge.

~David Whyte

Nope Can’t Change My Title or Tagline

I’ve tried tonight to think of a title and tagline that would better represent me and my blog (my blog and I?) but I can’t.  I just can’t.  I’ve had this blog since April 2014, granted with most of the time off but still; I gave a lot of thought to naming it back then, and I like it the way it is. I do wish I could change the address, though. It’s defunct.

The address is a little too ambitious today.  Back when, I had in mind a six-month program of study whereby I would get my feet under me enough to be able to do some freelance work. Start getting a few advertising gigs.  But life got in the way. And I was flattened with disappointment: if you look around my blog you’ll see my post about throwing my laptop off my balcony (which wasn’t funny at the time).

I’m still too scared, and wary, and in some ways still in grief, to try to launch that mangled-ass dream again so, really, the web address, with “freelancewriter” in it, doesn’t fit. I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing that right now, though, so really, I just shrug.

I do, though, have another name, for a blog I’ve set up the bare-bones on, while waiting for the upcoming poetry class: make me a real boy.

I like it.