red berries in snow
Original Writing, Uncategorized

I’m Not a Poet. But I Should Care About These Things.

Happy Monday fellow wordsmiths, storytellers, poets, and creators! Oh how I have missed ye.

Where the heck have you been, RJ? Thanks for asking. Over the last eleven weeks, I have been adventuring along the West Coast on a photography and exploration expedition; finding new passions and making new friends; and, unfortunately, navigating the deep waters of (temporary?) Bad Luck. Mostly that last one.

My physical heart is a little under the weather at the moment, but I am told this will be remedied soon by the replacement of my pulmonary valve. Today I’ve had two fainting spells and have been in bed all day. I am still recovering from the heart cath last Tuesday, in which doctors shoved a balloon and tiny cattle prod (just kidding, but it was an electric zapper of some sort) up my arteries to diagnose exactly how leaky this ole heart has become. In not so many words, my doctor reported, “It’s flooding like a grandmother’s basement in Spring.” Currently, I’m using text-to-speech (my old friend) to write this post. The arteries in my wrists are still deeply bruised from the procedure, even a week later. (I tip my hat to blood thinners for that one.)

But with all of this aside, I am hopeful. And more than hopeful, I am still imaginative, which beats being both stuck in bed AND bored! And let’s face it: it is an introvert’s good luck to have an excuse to stay in bed with the cat, some tea, and a pile of books.

Today I thought we might talk about poems. But I’m not a very poetic person. I don’t know how a poem goes together, or what it’s supposed to look like, or what the parts of it are called. It’s a form of expression I used to love as a child and I think, to some degree, I understood the intricacies the Universe on a deeper level back then—or at least, perhaps it was that I wasn’t as concerned about sounding like a “real” poet, writer, or astronaut. It didn’t matter to me if I “knew” what I was talking about or not; if I wanted to write a lengthy, philosophical piece about a moon-landing opossum (which I had) then that’s what I would write.

I think we all need to get back in touch with that childlike side of ourselves. I can’t recall the source, but I remember someone saying that the only two people worth impressing are our 5 year old and 85 year old selves. I can tell you that for me, as long as I can be someone my 5 year old self would want to hang out with, my 85 year old self will approve of who I have become.

At the risk of sounding rambling and inexperienced in front of an audience, I would like to explore that side of me and tug you along on the ride. Even invite you to leave some of your own poems in the comments or my email inbox! 

Winter is a very “magical” time of year, at the risk of sounding cliche. It is the time when the Great Outdoors wants to sleep as much as we do in our own beds, it is a time when we can lay to rest the old versions of ourselves and shed them like jackets in spring with hope for a better future. It is a time when opportunities to be more gracious, more kind, and more giving present themselves every day. So what better time than now to explore our long-winded inner poet? For fun, for introspection, for deepening of the soul or the lightning thereof. And so, in so much as I am able, I will be posting 12 musings about Winter, at least twice a week until Christmas.

After a full recovery from the upcoming tests and surgeries (which should be sometime early next year,) I’ll be returning to my more instructive posts yet again. But until then, I hope you all can enjoy the charm of winter with me; hopefully I will have embodied some of it in these little quasi-poem snippets. (:

Winter Morning for the Writer
Coffee light is golden this morning.
It warms my right shoulder, though the floor is cold.
Glittering eddies are brushed from the tree limbs by invisible hands.
Seven birds line up outside the window. 
Fresh snow on their backs. Knocking it from the railing with their feet as they shuffle.
The birds are red in satin finish, with official black masks and haughty, pointed crowns. 
One of them is not like the others. White and plump, it does not stand tall, nor flit around.
White sits in the middle, hunched and cold.
Pen and paper nearby, I see.
Not yet. But close.
Steam in my hands, warm ceramic. 
The daylight is seeping in, and the sleep is slowly leaving.
It's like a breath in slow motion. 
The sun swells. Purple edges creep away through the yard.
Another cup, this one without cream. 
Cogs are slipping, catching, grinding. The heaviness leaves me.
The birds spook and fly. The white remains, and looks at me humanly.
I'm alert now.
I feel another story.
Pen and paper.

Today’s entry is obviously a more personal one, but I encourage all of you to find some encouragement and support through your own trials. What personal trial has writing pulled you through? Or has a trial set you back in your creative endeavors, and you would like to get back into your creative side? What’s stopping you from jumping in with both feet?

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