Thursday, 6 March 2008

Back for a day

Things have changed since I’ve started the poetry-writing course as it absorbs almost all my mental energy. I don’t crochet. I don’t make notes about ideas. I don’t sketch. I don’t read blogs, I don’t write mine very often. It’s quite disconcerting, these activities did fill a good part of my days and shaped how I saw myself. My visual brain was always working, always churning away, and now that the coursework greedily devours all my attention, it is still, dormant. In some ways the new regime suits me: writing can be done almost anywhere I sit, lie, stumble. But trying to write poetry is hard work, slow work, every word needs to be weighed and appraised and weighed again, and I do feel on unsure ground. Yet when I’m on a roll something high voltage kicks in that makes me feel utterly alive no matter how my body feels. It makes me kind of surge internally, if you know what I mean.
So instead of being surrounded by yarns, needles, crocheting hooks, sketch books, pens and pencils I’ve now got within reach pens and writing paper and my beloved Thesaurus. The two very heavy tomes of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which I can hardly lift, lie open next to my bed of blankets on the living room floor. (There’s something about a dictionary – I love leafing through its pages, looking at words that are as yet utterly mysterious to me and wondering how I could stretch myself to use them in some way. Unfortunately they escape from my brain like puffs of smoke almost as soon as I turn the page…)
It is strange that my visual side can lie fallow like that. And I feel the lack of blog-bonding acutely, miss the exchanges, the mutual inspiration and encouragement, and don’t want to lose touch. As I’m not producing just now I thought I’d go back to what is already there and what still and again interests and fascinates me: the imperfect body and how it can be imagined to speak of emotional states. Here are two drawings made a couple of years ago, clearly linked to both my paper figures and dresses.
Now I’ll disappear again, off to try to write a poem about speaking, the physicality of speaking, probably way too ambitious a task for a beginner but as with my visual work I’m going for what grips and compels me. I’ll learn from my failures. And maybe you’ll hear a holler or two when I think I’ve written the perfect line.
I do hope to check in with you soon and see what you’ve been up to in the meantime.


Kruse said...

Don't you dare disappear. I am missing you suprisingly a lot! This is a strange connection, this blogsphere thing. I used to visit your blog everytime I logged on and now you are gone(ish). I have been thinking about whether to carry on myself. It takes a lot of time dosen't it? Also sometimes I regret openness, some days I am expansive, other days very private. Anyway, I'm glad you are enjoying your words, remember; in imperfection is possibility, in perfection only death.

lasuza said...

Glad that you're enjoying your course. Like Kruse, I'm also missing your blog. Enjoy your time with the alphabet and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Uschi said...

I love love dictionaries, too, I even own some for collecting words in languages I don't speak at all...just for the case...

word crumbs, puffs as you say, but all these beautiful pieces of sentences are butterfly-like and a great feeling to emerge them.
Sometimes there's only one sentence that makes it worth reading a whole book...this one sentence, that pulls the string in you.
I absolutely admire your patience and constant struggle!

cally said...

It's great when you pop back in here and treat us with your words and images. I really enjoy seeing your older works, because to me they are new, yet I can see that they informed the more recent work, so it fills out the portrait of your artistic self that is building in my mind over time.

As you know, my own inability to make new work got me rifling through old pieces and I found it really useful to revisit work from a different time in my life. It has helped divert me from negative thoughts about my health and given me something good to work toward (ie. all the NEW things I want to make next).

I'm hugely enjoying the energy you project from your blog when you talk about your poetry, it's infectious, whenever I read about your writing journey I sit more upright, my mind seems to clear... you are like verbal yoga for me.

I really appreciate you have taken time to pop by my blog when I know you are not blog reading so much, your comments always make my day.

Enjoy your wandering through the dictionary/thesaurus. I suspect that though many words lose their place when you turn the page, they are all in there, waiting for the right time to come out.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but because of you I make a conscious effort to take in the often subtle scents of foliage when I'm out with Lucy. The walk is so difficult but I am aware of the fact that I am fortunate to be able to walk at all each day, so I do my best to really appreciate it rather than focus on the pain. And when I do particularly notice a smell from damp grass, or dry leaves, I have you to thank for it.

I hope you are getting some time out in your own foliage as the buds start to open. Wishing you enough energy to spend time with them.

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