...is making me late, is keeping me blo-o-o-ogging... (ok, sorry!)
My reliable, faithful cat sitter sold her business & the new guy is coming over tomorrow to meet the cats, see what's up with the insulin shots, and so on. Originally this was supposed to happen Wednesday evening, so I had one more day to prepare. This means I need to be frantically cleaning house right about now. Obviously, I am not.
One of the problems with having a diabetic cat is that the trustworthiness of one's cat sitter becomes vitally important. My old cat sitter had been visiting the boys since 1996. I'm a bit scared about having to change. I suspect this will be the last time I feel comfortable leaving Mudpuppy (the nearly 18 year old diabetic) for any length of time. I am so nervous about leaving him with somebody new. Sigh.
I'm thinking about this whole blogging-as-writing-genre thing. In my paper journal, I don't come up with a lot of what I would call "good writing" -- a lot of it is just whining and muttering that I need to get out of my system, working things out, processing, and the endless urge just to record one's life. Sometimes (usually with lots of caffeine) I go off on tangents and write something that might be worth coming back to -- but usually, no. But blogging, I'm aware of an audience -- that sometimes if I write something more or less worth reading, I'll actually get a comment, know that someone has enjoyed my work. It is our writing that connects us, here.
I have a bad habit of wanting to save the "good writing" for poems or maybe fiction -- to make something with it, something that's out there, crafted, separate from "me" somehow. As if good writing were somehow in limited supply. (well, mine might be in short supply, who knows?) When I write a bit of something here that I think might be worth something, my tendency is to want to dig at it, poke and tug and squeeze it and somehow extract the poem of it. As if having it on one page and pointing at it and saying "this is a poem" makes it more legitimate somehow. When I was young, in high school and early in undergrad, poetry was just how I experienced the world. It was not unusual for me to write three, four, half a dozen poems in a night. It was my way of engaging, of experiencing, of understanding. Why don't I do that anymore? Why do I now squeeze out a poem a week, if I'm lucky, constipated little turds of poems? (I'm not saying they are crappy -- heh -- poems. Just that they don't exactly flow freely, these days.)
I find myself thinking it's because I don't have much to say, but god/dess knows the poems I wrote and wrote and wrote in high school weren't exactly blazing foundries of deep wisdom. (I probably thought they were, but that's what being that age is all about.) (Do foundries blaze? Fuckit, I'm second-guessing myself again.) Is it because I've spent so much time in workshops, thinking to myself oh I have to have a poem to bring in for the next workshop? Is it because I like publishing, and random blog-blatherings aren't exactly what you send out to editors? (Except random blog-blatherings probably get more readership than most of my actual published poems.) Should I take a break from workshopping, publishing, thoughts of MFA-ing, and try to get back to that "beginner's mind" way of writing?
This may be one of the questions I want to answer for myself in P-town.
Crafting a poem, having this discrete artifact I can point to and name, is surely satisfying. It feels damn good, in fact. But blathering somewhat randomly (but not completely randomly, as I'm always aware that someone may read this, and that the someones who mostly read this are someones who care about & are sensitive to writing & language & poetry) and suddenly finding myself writing something (for lack of a better word) nice -- well, that's satisfying too. If I don't take that and use it somehow, is it worth less?
Whenever I'm about to embark on a summer workshop I try to think, before I go, about what I want to learn from it. If I can articulate this particular blathering a little better, this might be part of what I'm looking for. (Part of it, I think, is "how do I make it easier for myself to write?") That, and "should I try to put together a damn book ms." and "how the hell does one revise." And "should I try to do an MFA and if so how the hell do I expect to pay for it." (And "can I possibly write at least one damn sentence without a damn curse word in it?" Sheesh.)
And, if nothing else, some lovely beach time, the sweet salt air, and if I'm really, really lucky, a bit of a connection with some fellow writers for a few days. And maybe a new little pile of words -- whether they fall into place as poems, or not.