Tag Archives: creative process

Horizon

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Etymology of Hoizon is listed as: bound, limit, divide, separate and limit of view.

 

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I am trying to stay positive in the face of uncertainty,

stay clear headed and patient in the face of parenting responsibilities.

Creative in the face of harsh realities

 

And then there’s Meena.

There is no question that child was wrought out of pure love.

I am so grateful for him. For his presence.

 For his warm squishy body next to mine at night

for his big goofy giggles,

for his squels at Ali or cuddles with Chris.

 

Life is not this or that, not black or white.

 It’s energy, light, flow

and always, always movement.

 

I will long for a snapshot of this feeling, this love long after it might pass

Long after I get grey and achy

Long after he outgrows my lap and his chubby cheeks.

The bittersweet passage of time.

How hard I tug and pull to get to the next horizon only to look back and remember what I forgot.

 

How is it some of us can hold so much love, so much light, while others simply can not?

 

Water on Mars. Plastic in oceans.

Families huddled along borders, waiting.

Pushing and pulling against tides, against horizons

 

Can we evolve to something different? Something we have never experienced before?

How much can our container hold?  

 

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Lonely: Writing Inspiration

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“I love you even when you don’t notice…”

post industrial art with a message

post industrial art with a message

 

I was recently asked:

Q: Why did that particular tag resonate so much to me that I used it with my essay? ( We Are Providence)

A: I love this tag for many reasons. As a writer, I think a lot about voice and perspective. This tag made me think about what kind of character could be saying this. Who, or even what, would martyr themselves to the degree this tag is expressing? Not only does this line hint at the common literary motif of martyrdom, it inspires my imagination when I take in the context.

Sunset in Providence

That building, abandoned for so many years, sitting on a waterfront that has seen everything from slave trading vessels to world class shipping fleets… right up the bay a19th century landfill is now transformed to a environmental education center.

Save The Bay in Providence

Save The Bay in Providence

An intricate waterway where fresh water meets the sea yet its burdened with waste and pollution. It’s this juxtaposition between nature and industry that has always resonated with me as a writer.

The tag raises all sorts of questions for me like, what kind of place is this that keeps on loving us even when we don’t notice? Even after years of environmental degradation, abuse of the natural resources, industrial sludge… and still, love remains? How telling of our potential for renewal. For transformation. How powerful.

The speaker could be the land or could be that lonely abandoned factory, trying to get our attention. There are so many possibilities there for us to envision. What sort of abusive, ill balanced relationship is this that we have with our Earth? With the city of Providence? It will keep on loving us even when we don’t notice it.

red bridge- Providence

Red Bridge- Providence

Isn’t the drive behind loving and being in love being seen? To be known? Still, there she is. Willing to forgo even that most basic recognition. We have dumped, we have polluted, we have neglected, we have gentrified… but still she loves us.

Gotta love Earth...

Gotta love Earth…

 

Frequency: Tuning into What Works for my Writing

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Creating and balancing a writing life is one of the most challenging part of being a writer in the world.  Now that its been about 2 years post-MFA, I have some reflection space to think about my writing life and how it has changed since MFA:  During my time in graduate school, I was familiar with a certain sense of frequency-  just write, write, write, produce! oh! and know that you will suck cause your new/young, you may as well give up now…I recognize that the high intensity structure of a low residency MFA might not have been the best option for how I learn and develop as a writer.

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It was still a valuable experience! I learned so much and still feel connected to the community I built there, but I couldn’t help but feel as though it was this frantic, drop everything and step out of your life thing (where we gathered for 10 days of work-shopping, reading and seminar).

It was wonderfully all-consuming in that it felt like a writing vacation, but once returning to my normal life, it was difficult to bridge those realities. I know that a huge piece was the fact that I was very recently divorced, single mother of a one year old.  I struggled through the emotional ups and downs and financial difficulties. In one way this made my writing residencies super important as they served as my constant, my time to shift my focus back to the big picture of my life as a creative being.  But, on the downside, it felt like a huge shift post MFA, I started a  new middle school teaching job where it felt close to impossible to maintain a writing flow (other than my blog, and even that was scant).  At that point, I felt strongly about shifting my awareness  towards rebuilding  my personal and emotional life.  Writing most certainly was still at the cornerstones of that, but I simply no longer jived with the culture of guilt I built around myself for not meeting accountability deadlines.

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I became my worse enemy, would feel badly if I didn’t complete a project or submit to a million places that way fellow grads might have been doing.  Thankfully, after a hard, but necessary dry summer (dry, as in lack of writing production), I found that I needed that time to slow down and listen to  my new life frequency. Jobs and ideas shifted, schedules changed, priories reordered.  Recently, I found a local community based writing course that fits perfectly with my schedule and needs.  I get to be back to work-shopping peers, producing writing, all in a more realistic time frame.

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The name of that community organization is (of course) Frequency.  I didn’t read into the name and what it might represent to me till just recently, when I felt like I was finally tuning into what works best for me and my writing now. For example, one of our in class writing exercises was making a list of life moments or events that we either experienced or witnessed that held a lot of weight for us and managed to stay with us or define us over the years.  I began like I normally would listing:  immigration, war, transitioning to life in the US, learning English, changing schools….Then remembering my current writing project ( which is based on what I would want to read and holds tons of inspiration for me) I stopped and made a new list right next to it:

The time the Providence River Cove was uncovered: http://www.urbanophile.com/2012/04/10/providence-the-rust-belts-most-northeasterly-point-by-nicholas-cataldo/

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When police discovered a secret apartment illegally built in the mall: http://consumerist.com/2007/10/03/man-builds-secret-apartment-at-mall-gets-away-with-it-for-four-years/

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living under the mall...

living under the mall…

The gator released into the Providence River:   http://www.ibtimes.com/alligator-living-river-and-four-foot-alligator-found-home-819269

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hmmm? a gator?

hmmm? a gator?

and so on… I know it might not seem like a big deal to others, but for years, my life has been defined by these huge life events I had no control over as a child.  Now for the first time, I have allowed myself to tune into to other frequencies…

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Check out and support Frequency:  http://frequencywriters.org