Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Monday, October 28, 2013

being free and expressing want

Having moved so much over the years, sometimes I find myself getting antsy for new settings. Some people choose to move forward and grow in various ways, through relationships, career changes, and education. And then there are others who actually need to get up and go, physically altering their state of affairs. I am one of those who has historically been "a mover and shaker", changing my locale and shaking things up a bit in the process. For those that can't fathom moving 29 times, I can't fathom who I would have turned out to have been if I had stayed put in one spot for an extended duration.
Some of this is rooted in me still trying to decide where I want to "end up" or "settle", two terms I use loosely, because I don't really know what they mean. All I know is that I have witnessed mature individuals taking part in this settled way of life, and part of me sometimes romanticizes having this for myself. And then the other part, the wistful side, has a terrible aversion to commitment of any sort. Talk of babies and marriage, makes me squirm like nothing else. I desire freedom, while I attempt to seek some semblance of direction.
When I am in the city, I want the country. When I'm in the country, I want all the goings-on of the city. If I try to remember if I have always felt this way--indecisive about where I want to be at any given point--well, I realize I have never exactly been vocal about what I want, but rather just accepted my uncertainty as part of my natural character. "To want" always felt greedy. "To need" was easier to justify as part of my biology. Then here I am, skeptical often with one foot in the door and one foot out (ready to take off and run at a moment's notice). To fight or flee? And on the other hand, I come up with these grandiose notions about the special kind of person who will appeal to (and satisfy) my domestic side.
Lately, I've been looking at maps and researching possible destinations of where I could see myself next. But then, when I meet new people locally, who are doing some pretty hip things (farmers and artists and couples) my practical sense kicks in and says, "You don't have to travel halfway around the globe to keep your passions alive." Sometimes staying put and engrossed and connected to a community, opens up opportunities and experiences that are much more accessible and rewarding, than packing up your whole life to wander aimlessly about seeking that which you don't yet know that you want.
"the only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your existence is an act of rebellion." - albert camus

Thursday, October 10, 2013

billy collins on art.

billy collins' poems awaken me (literally, I read him in the mornings for an early dose of inspiration):


They say you can jinx a poem
if you talk about it before it is done.
If you let it out too early, they warn,
your poem will fly away,
and this time they are absolutely right.

Take the night I mentioned to you
I wanted to write about the madmen,
as the newspapers so blithely call them,
who attack art, not in reviews,
but with breadknives and hammers
in the quiet museums of Prague and Amsterdam.

Actually, they are the real artists,
you said, spinning the ice in your glass.
The screwdriver is their brush.
The real vandals are the restorers,
you went on, slowly turning me upside-down,
the ones in the white doctor's smocks
who close the wound in the landscape,
and thus ruin the true art of the mad.

I watched my poem fly down to the front
of the bar and hover there
until the next customer walked in--
then I watched it fly out the open door into the night
and sail away, I could only imagine,
over the dark tenements of the city.

All I had wished to say
was that art was also short,
as a razor can teach with a slash or two,
that it only seems long compared to life,
but that night, I drove home alone
with nothing swinging in the cage of my heart
except the faint hope that I might
catch a glimpse of the thing
in the fan of my headlights,
maybe perched on a road sign or a street lamp,
poor unwritten bird, its wings folded,
staring down at me with tiny illuminated eyes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

cigale lit mag.

to stick with the seasonal theme... my short-short fiction piece, "a cold spring" has been published in Cigale Literary. click over & check it out:

thanks to editor and poet, Scott Bryson, who saw a nugget of truth in my writing. there are many talented writers included in this issue. definitely worth the read.


fall is a reminder that change is inevitable. all those leaves and petals and blades of grass-- spring's masterpiece left to expire like week-old produce tossed out in the alley of the local grocer. does it really affect us-- knowing everything cycles back around. that if we wait long and patiently enough, everything will be replenished again.
I gravitate toward the signs of fall much more naturally than any other season. late winter and a good part of the spring in New England, are rather bleak-- damp, cold and gray. and summer is so rushed with trying to get all one's socializing done, so that when it does come time to hibernate, it feels like a nice break---ah! yes, solitude. I tend to write new material in the winter months, because it's more appealing to stay inside and warm than to have your body ache from the below freezing temperatures, the consistently wet outerwear, and from tromping through the piles of snow drift to get anywhere.
these fall days have been the perfect cure to whatever has been ailing me the better part of the year. I sought a change, and surely have found it. now I sit each morning recording the ways the sunlight casts differently on the eastern and western sides of my house, the variety of hues found in my yard trees, and the types of critters that scurry about gathering and storing. two weeks ago there was a mischievous groundhog in my kindling box, poking his head up and down to see if anyone saw him, that looked to be enjoying the day about as much I was watching him, over the top of my book cover.
I feel synchronized to the New England seasons, like laughter to a sense of humor.  to know me would be to know what the soil in a hay field feels like underfoot, the sweet scent of fermented and forgotten apples, and how a leaf so fragile can turn to dust and be blown away like it never even existed in the first place. I'll tell you, it's a magical feeling-- to be part of something bigger.