Friday, February 3, 2017

A Commentary on a Hiatus (which is really just a commentary on other things)

Dear Reader,

Once, I was the type of person who'd roll my eyes at a blog that spent half its posts apologizing for not posting enough.

Now, it seems, I am that eye roll-worthy blogger spending half my posts apologizing for not posting enough. As Boy George says, karma karma karma karma . . .
Yes, I'm still here (no, I didn't move to Canada). But the world has been messy and I have been a mess with it. I wish I could be like Mary Oliver, who has said that she is simply too busy loving the earth to become political about it. Though I suppose as a hopeless empath, it's not really the politics, but all the restless emotions of others that get to me. Anxiety, anger, confusion, suspicion, vainglory, despair -- and how these things knot together to make walls between souls. I'm blessed (though some may call it cursed) to know and love people of all different shades of ideologies. (And no, it is not a one-side-or-other-side fence, it is not even a two-ended spectrum. Did you think humans could be that simple?) I'm blessed for that exposure, because it's given me a glimpse of how complex and un-boxable real people are, and I can say with respect that every person I know and love is good, and is motivated by goodness. So it's the intolerance, the simplifying, the categorization of others -- which I see coming from all branches of political thought -- that bothers me.
"Can [the patriot] hate it enough to change it,
yet love it enough to think it worth changing?"
 ~ G.K. Chesterton

I don't believe in assuming there's hate where there's disagreement, or malice where there's differences (despite sadly knowing that there is so much hate and malice in the world). I don't believe in that any more than I can believe that the mind of a terrorist, or of a man in the Oval Office, defines what every mind within an entire social group looks like. I'm a naïve idealist: I believe in dialogue and open-mindedness; in kindness and giving the benefit of the doubt; in understanding past pain and blame and agenda that the person in front of you isn't a robot of partisanship or ideology, but a complicated human trying to make sense of the world, too. I just wish more people believed in that nowadays.

Well, now that I've gotten all the somber stuff out of the way, I promise not all aspects of my life are so despair-filled. Grad school is still good to me, especially as I'm getting opportunities to branch out of my usual areas of writing and study. Last semester, I worked mostly on non-fiction for workshops; this semester, I again have the haven of the additional workshops in poetry. Note: this is my first experience critiquing and being critiqued by graduate-level poets, and it's terrifying, but enlightening, the way a massive moose that's vague about whether it wants to stand still and be beautiful or run you over is both terrifying and enlightening. (Oh brain, where do you even get these metaphors?) Then there's History of the English Language -- a far jump from my routine literature courses, instead looking at language with a left-brained nerdiness, while the right-brained geekiness in me still exclaims, "The growth of words! The blending of cultures! The metaphorical compounds! What a poetic story." (Did I mention I'm loving the class so far?)
Manuscript of "Caedmon's Hymn"
Oh, and possibly the nicest perk of the Last Full Time MFA Semester -- notwithstanding that, f**k, it really is the LFTMFAS -- is the four-day weekend schedule, consisting of Sleep-Til-Noon Day, Family Day, Unapologetic Writing Day, and S**t-That's-Due-Tomorrow Day. Well, there's also the perk that thesis ideas are finally flooding in, and I suppose that's a bigger deal.

Publications are still happening, albeit at turtle-pace as I've been anxious about searching for new publishers. If you appreciated my announcement about the goddess poems, you'll be interested to know that Bibliotheca Alexandrina recently published another collection with one of my poems, "Ammit Plays with Her Food." You can read about the collection "The Dark Ones: Tales and Poems of the Shadow Gods" here, and purchase a copy here (I'm on page 235). I also received word recently that I'll be getting an academic essay published soon -- more on that later.
The Egyptian goddess Ammit
(in case you want a sneak-peek of the weirdness of my poem)
That's all I can really say for now, folks. I'm hoping that, on a day when seasonal-depression isn't hitting me so hard, I can give the blog a proper revival, complete with literary gushing and philosophizing about the writing process and self-given pep talks. Thanks (assuming you're still there) for your patience, your reading, your interest in what Silly Me is doing.

Happy New Year. Grace and peace to you.


A preview of the above-mentioned poem is now available below (image may be clearer on Web Version):

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