Thursday, July 1, 2021

Today is my final day at the (virtual) Frost Place. A day to be spent writing, under Teresa's guidance. A cooler day, with rain. A refreshment. Those wobbles I mentioned yesterday have vanished. Now I am just a poet excited about making poems.

Yesterday morning I shared a small talk I'd written about some of the ways we kneecap ourselves as writers: how we talk ourselves away from confidence, silence our deepest inner voices, reduce our joys to ashes. The open conversation afterward was heart-rending, and this morning my sadness about that communal self-flagellation lingers. Words were hard to say, hard to hear. We teach ourselves so many, many ways to not write. It's a wonder poems exist at all.

These two paragraphs seem to be contradicting one another. And I guess that's another place where my sadness is filtering in . . . that gap between those of us who wallow and splash in the art-making and those of us who have to climb back out of the mud hole early because our mothers are calling us, or are afraid that the hole might be too deep in the middle, or love the feeling of mud between our toes but hate getting it in our hair, or worry that we look stupid with mud all over us . . .

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