Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Winding Down and Gearing Up
2011, for good or ill, is winding down. It is a time for me to reassess what has happened or not during one year before moving on to the next year. I wonder how many writers do this kind of ruminating. As a poet, my assessments take on a more formal approach. I write the last poem of the year on December 31st late in the evening (obviously I am not a "party hearty" kind of NYE celebrator). I let my mind roam about in the year and something strikes me as interesting enough that I ought to write about it. I've been doing this for 13 years now. It is never the case (so far) where I feel burdened by this writing. I look forward to it for days. I am already pretty jazzed at the prospect. I take myself to a space (physical space) with my laptop and write. Funny that it is my laptop not a notebook. I have tried with a notebook and there is not the same sense of immediacy.
Once the final poem of a year is done (now this is just a DRAFT; I do go back and revise) I get to the business of writing the first poem of the new year. Most often this poem is written only a few hours later, often no longer than an hour or so after the year begins. What is so interesting to me about this little "habit of writing" is the complete switch the poems identify. I thought the closer together they were written, the closer they'd be in tone, subject, approach, even form (or lack thereof). This has simply not been the case over the decade + that I've been doing it. Befuzzling. (like that word? It's my creation.) Is there really a total mind shift that happens? Is the new year so NEW that my head is new too? I think so.
I am working slowly toward a collection of these poems, called at this point "End to End." I think the concept is interesting, though maybe not as interesting as my "Boyfriend Project." (More on that one later as I am determined to get that put together and sent out in 2012, along with finishing my novel. So much to write!)
Back to my winding down and gearing up:
I also try to reorganize my office, reorganizing the shelves as a major part of that work. I like to consider new ways to put my books and supplies in order. I went with alphabetizing last year though I have found that doesn't last. I am such a "stacker" and so hasty when I need a book that I am out of alphabetized state rather quickly and don't know where ANYTHING is. Grrr. So this time I am thinking of going with categories as my organizing principle. Books ABOUT in one section, poetry anthologies in another, male poets in another, women poets in yet another. Random books that fit into none of those categories in another. My own books and journals in which my poems appear are in a bookcase downstairs where visitors can find them.
I'd like to get rid of extraneous supplies. I just cannot seem to do it. I want to put a comfy chair in my office but if I did that, I'd have to get rid of my supplies cabinets. Do I really NEED all those things? Maybe not. Might be a bigger project than I want to tackle. I will need a burst of energy coupled with courage to take that on anytime soon. I'd like to make my spare room into a dressing room for myself, but where would I put my guests? My hubby and I have a 4 bedroom house and only 2 of those are useable as bedrooms. We each have an office. Why? Could we find a way to share? Not at this point. We share a printer (located in my office) and a wireless network (equipment also in my office). Why can we not be in the same space? Clutter and memorabilia is the big reason. His office is very messy. It is also the dumping ground for whatever we don't know where to put... grrr. Are we THAT disorganized or do we just have too much STUFF? Yes to both though the latter is more the case.
This brings me around to the books. I hate to get rid of books. Seems like abandoning a child or leaving a puppy in the woods or along the road. Having said that, I do recycle fiction and nonfiction to our local bookstore: hello, hello books. I get book credit to buy MORE BOOKS when I do that. I like this plan, keeping books literally circulating like a wonderfully bizarre library. So now I will look at the books on my shelves and see which ones can fly out of here after the new year when Lacy is taking books again. I also share my books with friends and schools when they are absolutely done living here in my house. I recently got several copies of my favorite poet's best collection (used, in good shape of course) and these became Christmas/Chanukka presents. I like the idea of my poet friends having these poems so we can discuss and share our ideas about Wilbur's poems.
I guess I'd be remiss in this blog if I failed to address the clothing situation. I have too many in too many sizes. I don't like many of them either. I feel frumpy sometimes. I feel uncomfortable in many of them. Time to go through and be ruthless in my closet. Ought to do that before 2012 happens. Maybe tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day. Hmmmm....... where have I heard that? Did I give away or trade that book for poetry?
Happy end of 2011 and a prosperously inked 2012 to all!
Carol, the cluttered poet