Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Poetic Dream

I went to be a part of poetry reading session offered at the college I graduated from this week and fell in love with it all over again. We heard the words from many poets - Frost, Dickinson, e.e. cummings and even some newer poets as well all were read by an excellent poet in his own right who also happens to teach English and poetry at a local high school.

The tenor of the morning was soft, and quietly academic. That's something I was a bit disappointed in since this was an event I would love to have seen offered to the whole area so we could encourage people to embrace poetry as a way to express or be a release valve that could carry us well beyond our own often mundane lives.

The readings and then the discussions that followed brought out again, for me, various poets who have touched me over many years. I wrote their names near the poems to draw the words closer and wrap myself in their beauty, an emotional fire that carried me over many difficulties and through many years. Those poems that day - those words gave me thought and invigorated my life walk in ways I never thought this type of writing could again.

From the older more stylized ones that are so much a part of what most of us use to see as poetry, to the free forms words that dominate today's written poetic form there is really a true sense of love for many of us who live this language.

If you get the idea that I LOVE poetry more than just a little you are right!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Writing Game

I write. I write because I have to not because it's a real choice for me. The real interesting thing about writing is you cannot do it all the time and when I can't write, like when I'm behind the wheel of my car or when I'm curled up in bed, my mind is still working creating stories or different ways of saying a simple every day sentence. Sometimes I find that I play with the words and generate quite a few different ways of saying something.

Stories, even the true ones, are from my personal perspective on the life around me and the things I see and write about are seen from my angle. If you think about it, that's why those eye witnesses to crimes are so unreliable. The view is never objective. So when a writer gives their point of view you should always look at it as one way of viewing the incident or event.

I've deviated a bit here but that's why the public is often so entranced by books and stories because it's like getting into someone else's head and out of our own. That is also why most good writers are also prolific readers. So if Hemingway said something one way, how can I say the same thing - but make it more accessible, or more intense, or more anything that make my piece more original.

That's the challenge I set for myself each and every time I sit before a blank page. Writing is a test - one that I have to do differently each and every day to make it work.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Betweens Time

It's been raining here for what seems to be forever. Three inches in the past 24 hours, and this autumn seems to have become centered on the assault of that cooler weather along with the persistent deluges of recent days. The colors that were just beginning to peak on our wind driven leaves but now much has been washed off most of the area trees and all that is left dangling the tree branches are a few of those the plain and sometimes pale leaves of yellows and browns.

Of course the later days of October seem to often drive the colors from our West Michigan fall days, but I had been hoping for a longer and more protracted season since I love the fall so much. But it just wasn't to be.

So as we are entering that season prior to winter that seems to be a buffer zone of grays and browns where the cold winds and unlimited rain prevail. I have to say I am hoping for the beginnings of that season of no color and landscapes that haunt us with a white covering and shapes that better reflect the moon's surface rather than our own homeland, earth.

Soon. Very soon. After all, it is almost November.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Imperfection of Beginning Tai Chi

It's Wednesday. We've had lovely, warm weather for October, but we're back to the normal cold and rainy month as of tomorrow. October is full of such strange weather most years and this one is no exception.

I love the fall, but I've been inside a lot lately. A nasty common cold has haunted my days for almost half of this beautiful month.

I just started classes in Tai Chi - beginner's classes that is. (I am very uncoordinated!) The class is fabulous and we have all kinds of people in my group and I feel right at home in my Irish t-shirt and sweat pants. We're working on the basics and all look strange going in all directions (certainly different directions than our instructor!) and I'm finding out that I certainly have a lot to learn!

There are huge windows all around the room we're in with some of them peering out on the trees around the building, and some that seem to peeking in on other people's work outs in attached rooms that are filled with bicycles going absolutely no where and individual steps that populate a room filled with scantly clad women of all ages.

Our class is thankfully a very basic one in Tai Chi and is filled with many kinds of people of both genders and thus for me in my "round," condition it is quite a non-threatening place. (When you're not exactly slender it is always nice to know you're not the only one who isn't perfect in every way!)

It is a good workout, though and I love the time at the end of class where we lie on our mats and breathe deeply and are suppose to envision those lovely fall trees outside - I'm simply letting all my poor muscles ping as they unwind after an hours worth of work! I will be back on Monday next though, because I like the class - it is really fun!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Colors of Fall, and The White Noise of Winter

Fall is here - and today has not gotten above 48 degrees. The cold has descended and though it has been a bit colder than usual in the last few days I still think that this is a gorgeous fall day! The colors of the various trees around the neighborhood are filled with reds, maroons, and yellows right now. I am waiting for the flaming oranges since they herald the ending of the season.

I love the fall because this time of the year is when I find so much that I enjoy doing outdoors and feel so alive during the changes that the season often brings! From leaves, to the new beginnings that come from schools starting a new year it is a time for a new start as much as the spring time is in my opinion, and it sure can be a grand time for walks in those color-filled leaves too!

Fall is the end of the growing season here, and the beginning of what will become for many the bleakest of seasons here in the Midwest - winter. But for me it's the best time because it is the beginning of a time of slowing down and enjoying my own thoughts amid the storms and swirling snow that peppers the winter months. The quiet at the center of a stormy day can be rejuvenating, and even invigorating.

With the world around us so mired in the noise and tensions that surround our days we seldom take the time to get beyond what drives us. That ever present noise in our world - the din from our phones that we allow to fill every moment with calls, and our MP3 players and that music can truly drive us crazy. From rap and rock and roll, to everything in between there are very few moments for thinking and quiet times in our world these days.

But winter can make it often impossible to hear anything above the wind driven blizzards that rules our everyday lives here along the West Michigan shoreline. So, I find taking a deep breath or even cuddling up to the quiet with nothing but the sounds of the natural world can be the best escape from my crazy world.

So, I have a suggestion - Instead of rebelling against old man winter and going from one icy accident to another, why for once not fight the changes that winter brings, but like the animals live with it. We might even learn to revel in those changes and use them to enjoy life and not simply exist in the techno-craziness that has become our world.