Very rough draft…
The page pulls at me
As I work
And plan for tomorrow
I read a chapter in the business book or the biography
All the while the other page calls to me
I know that when I pick up the book
And settle in
Turning pages, skimming words
To find the place where I left off
My world will fade away
And I will be in
Another body, mind and soul
Another world entirely
With Magic or dragons or trolls
My skirts will be long
And my thought patterns change
I will be a rancher
Or a debutant
A politician or a teacher
Or a slave
The page calls to me
And I pick up the book
And I am gone
I mentioned previously that I am taking Maya Stein’s feral writing class right now. The approach is unique and different for me which is resulting in some notable (to me) differences in what I am writing. There’s a rhythm that keeps repeating, night after night, as I work on the day’s assignment. A word or short phrase followed by an expansion on that word. It makes for a distinct rhythm that I can recognize. The feedback that Maya gives each day is incredibly specific and constructed in such a way as to make you look at your writing and your process from a different perspective, asking questions, challenging more work in a certain area. What she doesn’t provide is a critique or guidance on certain poetry forms or mechanics.
It’s a very different experience for me and one that I feel stretching me.
The wind off the garden
Is chilly today
Fall is in the air.
Like tiny ballerinas spinning to the ground
Flattened by rain drops
Layers of fading color
Like a stained glass window
Muted in the early morning sun.
Maybe I’ll take a picture
Or try to capture the wet light in water color
Or write a poem
I’ll just sit and watch the garden’s Fall ballet.
Inspired by my father’s Sunday School class.
I am on day 5 of Maya Stein’s Quick and Dirty Poetry class.
What Maya defines as “feral writing” is a new approach for me. On her website she says “Do you remember those moments in childhood when you “ran wild,” the times you were encouraged to explore and engage with the world around you on your own terms?
Feral Writing taps into this same joy of spontaneity and discovery, seeking to explore the electric connections and currents of our hidden world, and to follow that journey with words. More than a traditional writing workshop, Feral Writing workshops offer participants the opportunity to let loose and take risks, while at the same time refining writing instincts, developing better editing skills, and developing a writing practice that sticks.”
One of today’s writing prompts was Blessing.
Grace be unto you, and peace…
We wake and leave our homes
Unafraid, for the most part
Eating the ripe peach
At lunch time, forgetting to wash it
Or not caring, not worried
At the grocery bill
As we fill the pantry to overflowing
Hunger, to us
Is running late to dinner
Or skipping lunch because we are busy
We have never felt the hunger
Of not knowing where our next meal will come from
Or not remembering when we had our last
We don’t know the fear
Of our own government
Or the filth of not having clean water.
Sweaty after planting flowers in the garden
We duck our heads under the hose
Never doubting the plentiful, cool, clean water
That will gush forth
I am making an effort to recognize my blessings.
Take a moment to check out Maya Stein’s Paint Chip Poets on Facebook. The poems are brief, only what will fit on the face of a paint chip you can pick up at any home improvement store, and charming.
Some are funny (like Amy Tingle’s Red Hot), some are sweet or whimsical, and some will take your breath away.
or the Evolution of My Identity as a Daughter and Mother
When I was young my mother was always “Mommy”. That’s also what I heard my mother call her own mom. Once I hit the teen years calling my mother “Mommy” where people could hear made me uncomfortable. I started talking about my Mom, but at home, she was still Mommy. Over the years, though, I gradually started both referring to her as and calling her “Mom”.
I became Mommy. My own children called me Mommy (although when writing Cassie tended to use Mommie) and my own mother gradually became Grandma, even to me. As my children grew they started calling me Mommy less and less, repeating that pattern, and I became Mom, or Mama.
In recent years I have noticed I refer to my mother as “my Mom”, but I call her Mommy much more again. It’s who she is, and for me it holds much more weight in terms of affection and history and meaning than Mom ever can. Mom is a bit reserved and a bit distant and maybe more of a public persona than Mommy, for me. I needed my mother to be Mom, with that implied distance, as I was learning to be my own person, my own adult with a family and home and traditions all my own.
I don’t have any grandchildren, but I have noticed that I am sliding back into being Mommy for my kids as well. I think it comes as a byproduct of their growing confidence in themselves as adults. They are less concerned with being cool (because they just are cool!) and more focused on relationships and family ties.
So my mother has evolved from Mommy to Mom to Grandma to Mommy and I am moving through those same, if slightly altered, evolutionary steps. I don’t have any need for distance anymore and I am enjoying this second time around with my mommy, whom I greatly admire and love to spend time with. I only hope I have enough of her in me to complete the cycle with my own kids.
What do you call your mother? Has it changed over time?