I am my own little creative mosh pit these days, new ideas and poems head-butting into each other. Last night I had a breakthrough of sorts, discovered a way to handle the line in a poem where every line became an entity unto itself, with its own complete music. I've been wanting that a long time--my lines have always felt awkward and choppy, but something shifted and finally came together at midnight last night after Christopher made an offhand remark and it triggered a little mental fireworks display in my brain.
Times like that, writing becomes wild and new again instead of a hard slog through endless revisions. Now I want to write more more more poems in this "new" voice I'm discovering, which is just my same old voice, only more nuanced and developed and cadenced. I can feel a bunch of new/old material that I always had but didn't realize was usable opening up its possibilities...
Sometimes the music inside my cells gets very complex. I'm juggling poems, and short (10-minute) plays right now, while holding the bigger play loosely at bay, plus teaching: two classes ongoing, three more slated to start later this summer, and vacation plans...
And reading. Anthologies of 10-minute plays, since I will be teaching them shortly if the class fills, the poetry of Marie Howe, Stanley Kunitz, Three Cups of Tea, and War and Peace--no, I'm not kidding--is sitting there fat and unopened as a whole long summer stretches before us. And Christopher's got The Girl with the dragon Tattoo which I may wrestle away from him. I don't read novels much because once they get their hooks in me I'm a goner. Nothing else gets done until I finish them, and there's too much I have to get done.
Christopher hates it when I use the word "calendar" as a verb, but that's what we've been doing. Sitting on the couch with our datebooks open, scheduling the summer away. We are thinking of going to Manzanar. I know it is the wrong time of year to go to the desert. Maybe we should just go to Yosemite and camp. I want to be out in the trees, sit in the dirt, look at the sky, cook over a little Bunsen burner, float down a river wearing an inflatable life jacket. That's all. That's enough. But it's so freaking complicated just to get our datebooks to align enough to do that!
I'm not actually working much, compared to a normal person--that's what I always think, not sure exactly what normal people i am referring to, since I don't know any, but you know what I mean, people who have 9-5 Monday through Friday jobs. I'm not working 40 hours a week. The problem is I work weekends and evening and other odd times. The problem is that my attention is all snipped up in little tiny pieces like confetti. I spend hours just trying to keep track of myself, or running errands while simultaneously holding lightly the starting line of the next poem, the way a kid holds a worm in his pocket all day in the hope that he might get an hour in the evening to go fishing.
I have flown across country three times this spring to various workshops (plus two local weekend ones), and it was not until just this past Thursday, when I was back in the pool swimming half a mile again finally, that I finally felt my body relax gratefully back into rhythm. This is what home means to me: 36 lengths of the pool, and the predictable warmth and good tiredness in my arms and shoulders afterward. This is where and how I land. Amazing how long it takes to get there.