Being absent from my writing means being absent from my muse, from the somnolence of beautiful words, from the ribbons of peace that stream through my body when my fingers connect with the keyboard, my eyes kind of glaze over, and the words just pour out of me.
Thirty minutes ago, I came home and checked my mailbox. I have to admit, checking the mail is normally a bit of an anxiety affair. What bills have I forgotten to pay now? What new surprises await me that I don’t want to deal with?
Yup. I am good at forgetting to pay bills because I come home with my eyes glazed over and I just want to curl up and go to sleep or read a book and go to sleep or go for a run and then read a good book and then go to sleep.
You can see that I punctuate my days and nights with the desire to go to sleep.
This afternoon, though, the mailbox was kipped open. A folded mailing of advertisements. A bill that I need to pay but have not yet forgotten to pay.
A brown envelope.
My name on the front.
In the corner, the name of my beautiful poet friend and mentor. Robert Okaji.
Within the envelope, a laminated card, his biographical information on one side. On the other, a poem with a picture of a train.
A poem about departure. A poem that is a string of words and images and loveliness that made me pause in spite of the thunderstorm at my horizon’s edge. A poem that reminded me that I, too, am a poet who has abandoned her pen because she keeps on allowing distractions to become obstacles between herself and her creativity.
Oh, speak in me muse…
My muse has not been silent. I have been deaf. I have stoppered up my ears with grading and computer games and nothing special.
In pulling my hands over my ears, I have also shadowed my eyes. I haven’t been reading beautiful works of literature with the exception of the pieces I am teaching. I love immersing myself within good writing. But teaching the writing sometimes keeps me from truly feeling the words, from digging my fingers into each syllable and creative synapse.
A moment ago, I lifted my eyes from this screen, from Robert’s poetry, and glimpsed out my windows. The sun is at the perfect latitude in the sky to cast everything in a burnished light. A patina of autumnal gold has fallen over the houses, the trees, and though I am in the middle of spring, for this moment, my world is saturated in this purity of rose gold that hides no secrets and yields a metaphoric truth.
Now, though, I am digging through a month’s worth of poetry on Robert’s site that I have neglected to read.
“The Color of Water”
“The Geography of Silence”
Such gorgeous titles. Such delicious words that move my spirit.
I received a poem in the mail today. I stood outside while a thunder storm swept into my consciousness and stared at words that moved me.
Made me forget to breathe until I reached the last word and took a long breath, a sigh that collapsed the moment and held me in its pause.