I’m hoping that this blog will develop into what I try to achieve at poetry readings – a conversation between writer and reader. I’ll be giving you a glimpse into my life, beneath the surface of my social media presence. I plan to write about what’s important to me, maybe share poems, talk about what I’m reading, explore questions I’m mulling, and share a bit of this wonderful patch of earth in the woods where I live.
There will also be politics. I am a political animal, but as I have grown older and the politics of this country have become more insane and polarized, I no longer call myself a “political junkie.” I haven’t completely kicked the habit. But instead of a passion, I am intrigued by politics, by history, and by our place as sentient beings on this planet. My interest in politics goes deep and includes my own campaign as a candidate (nonpartisan) for township council in the 1970s. Maybe I’ll explore how that experience shaped my life and career choices.
Of course, plans change, and this blog may flow in an entirely different direction. It’s a lot like making a poem – I’ll start it knowing that at some point it will become smarter than I am and I’ll follow where it leads.
This is my second attempt to write a blog and I’m committed to making this at least a monthly posting this year.
My first attempt at writing a blog was short-lived and sporadic. I began the blog five years ago, about this time, in August 2016. At that time in my life, I was hopeful, optimistic, and looking forward to working locally to help heal the widening divisions within our country.
Then the presidential election happened and everything changed. A lot more things changed in the following five years, and I frequently found myself questioning my choices, my work, the way I wanted to live my life. Plans to stay in Asheville vanished. Plans to build a home on the river vanished. I put the memoir I had begun on hold. I abandoned a series of poems I had begun. They felt forced, contrived. I trusted myself. I doubted myself. I realized how much I did not know.
As I tried to navigate this new political landscape, I began to wonder if the feelings I was experiencing were the same as the feelings people who despised President Barrack Obama had felt for eight years. Did they feel that their world had been shaken like a snow globe? Did they too ricochet between anger and sorrow; acceptance and action?
As Ranier Maria Rilke once advised a young poet:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them and the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
I began to live the questions. Five years later, I’m still living the questions. In this blog you will find some of those questions. I doubt you’ll find answers. You may find something that resonates or a kindred soul. You may find something you disagree with. Let me know what you think.