This past weekend we celebrated our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was an event remarkable for its unusual congeniality; we four sisters have had our differences and one sister would have nothing to do with me for over a decade over something stupid. We have all grown apart, traveling in our own circles, diverging widely from one another. But this party reminded us of our roots and we realized we have more in common than we differ.
As we drank our tea and coffee around the kitchen island the next morning, we named the gift each sister had, the distinctive quality that budded while we were growing. They named me ‘highly creative’.
And I thought to myself, “I used to be.”
I remember the moment that, when I was a happily employed single teacher in the Washington, D.C. area, I realized I was happiest when I was creating something every day. Whether it was writing a silly poem for my roommates, setting a Bible passage to music, or planning a road rally for my friends, I was always up to something. And when I wasn’t, I had plenty of cultural events to attend.
But when I settled in Vermont and started raising a family, that changed, as of course it does for any young couple. For twenty-seven years I have been raising young ‘uns and homeschooling. And these have been rich, full years. In my dynamic, interesting, lovely grown children I am reaping rewards for all my investment.
They have been my grand opus.
In these latter years of raising young adults, it seems my labor has become heavily administrative. College searches and the application process, grades and transcripts, scholarships, managing the finances while three are in college, decluttering a house that used to be a home school, teaching kids to drive… I have become a capable manager with little time or energy for art.
So, to refresh my soul from its doings, to recover a joy of being, I want to dig into poetry. I have been reading poems that astonish and delight me, and I find my creative juices stirred up when in proximity to poets whose mastery of word and image have the power to name what I only vaguely sense. I want to be like that. I used to be perceptive!
I would love to take a course, to work with a group of fellow students who let me read what they are writing and will tell me honestly how my attempts come across.
Have you ever seen the lesson about the full jar? Watch this 3-minute video. Is the jar full?
I don’t know yet if poetry is one of the important things for me, or something I should squeeze in the small spaces, but I am making space for it. An interesting collection of women wants to join me, and I am so tickled!
Maybe it’s about the beer on top. (You did watch the video, didn’t you?)
The plan is to meet via GoToMeeting once or twice a month and discuss the reading of a college textbook, Writing Poems, 6th edition, by Michelle Boisseau. Since it is an older edition, it can be found for $10-16 online. I recommend Abebooks.com.