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.