Friday, October 12, 2018

An Update from the Writing Desert

It's been almost a year since my last post. I choose to post again more for myself than the world, as my blogs feel more and more like messages in a bottle in the vast ocean of cyberspace. I post today's update as a way to check in with my creative self, see how she's doing and what she's up to and why she hasn't ventured forth much lately.

During this past year, I participated in two storytelling performances, one with Portland Story Theatre and the other with Solospeak. Both were powerful experiences in exploring true stories from my own life, stories that swerve close to the bone. They were great lessons in crafting structure, choosing details, and thinking about overarching themes that expanded my creative vista into the more vulnerable realm of personal narrative.

The other big creative event for me last year was a performance of my own poems at my 30th College Reunion at the invitation of a classmate. Being so public with the raw emotions embedded in some of my poetry was an incredible experience - to speak with that voice in that place witnessed by those people. Afterwards, I told myself I wanted to explore other chances to share and perform my poetry. This December, I will do just that, as part of a culminating reading for a poetry class with the fabulous Claudia Savage.

Other than that, I've written some poems and posted them on my other blog, Pamplemousse, created a one-hour edit of Macbeth for Willamette Radio Workshop's Halloween show, read, tended to my health with yoga and meditation and wandered around in cyberspace. I find myself putting my energy into the needs of my family, nurturing relationships, and the demanding vocation of teaching. I write every day in my journal, but I seem to have given up any pretense of seeking publication, even self-publishing beyond my blogs. I alternate between accepting that and being horribly disappointed in myself. I dance between neglecting and abandoning my identity as writer.

Perhaps this shift is a function of that word "identity" and its collision with mortality and a changing  concept of self. The whole notion of "I" or identity seems, as I age, less important than the notion of the larger human organism, the world and the great arc of time, of which I am only one infinitesimal part. Making my peace with that truth seems to occupy more of my energy, and a desire to have public recognition for writing seems to dwindle.

Or perhaps it is laziness, or an honest self-assessment of my own abilities and chances, or just simple  despair. However, here I sit, typing this entry, reminding myself once again that the written word is my chosen form of self-expression, for good or for ill, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part.

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