celebrate, create, grieve, repeat: a poet returns

birthday montage
birthday montage

A few days ago another calendar year started for Mama C. Like your average bear I enjoy a little birthday love, some flowers, breakfast in bed. But, what I really love is the chance to reinvent myself, again. (January 1st, and Back to School also hold that possibility–or at least the excuse to start a new calendar and fill it with all the times I went to the gym this year. A week later, it’s amazing how much the old and the new calendar resemble the other…) This year Shrek and the boys helped me to craft a list of things I can feel fiercely fabulous about. Here are a few highlights in no particular order:

  • attending my first week long writers residency
  • crossing the country twice to visit my father and step mom with a different lad each time
  • a magnificent and robust urban garden in the summer and fall
  • several home improvements
  • transitioning to a part time job for one year
  • making ends meet on a part time income
  • volunteering in the boys’ classrooms once a week
  • co-organizing three epic cross cultural events at my sons’ school since last March
  • being invited to the “table” to discuss issues of race and equity in our school district
  • presenting on race and education to a graduate program in counseling,
  • parenting my big-in-the-world boys with some success
  • working it hard in the longest committed relationship I have ever been in
  • deepening relationships with five bonus children
  • planning a wedding
  • meditating and exercising regularly
  • noticing old patterns that no longer serve me, and attempting to change them

The making of a March-March list has been super gratifying, and allowed me to start this new “year” with a sense of accomplishment instead of urgency. What a shift that is. I felt so much fullness when I read it, that it allowed me to intentionally begin March re-focusing on what seemed startling absent for too much of the past year: my creative writing. It has been almost a year since I went on my residency, and while I came home feverishly ready to write, publish, and stay in the writers flow… It has become evident that it is time to recommit to that flow again.

To that end, the day after my birthday I took Marcel with me to a nearby beach, to walk, listen, snap snap, and collect lines for my first new poem of this new year. My “present” to myself-a renewed commitment to write a poem a week. To that end, and with Shrek’s help I decided loosely on a little structure to help that along: a visit to a body of water in some form at least once a week, a few hours stolen, borrowed or begged to be alone to write, edit and “publish” said poem in a new journal I was given the night of my birthday. The montage above chronicles the moment, the discoveries. Making and printing a little thumbnail photo montage is part of my creative process–realizing how visual I am, and how much more I remember when I have an image attached to it has been a lovely ah-ha for me.

The first poem that I “completed” is published (typed and printed and pasted) in my journal. At the end of the year, I will have a book of poetry. A book that will have a deep connection to water in some way or another–fitting for this Pisces. The first poem, “in tact” is about loss, grief, a miscarriage, and to what end we arrive on the other side of losing someone or something. Marcel wrote a message to the sister he never met in the sand. The balloon I found washed up on the beach delivered the first few stanzas to me:

Like the rubbery remains of this chick chick yellow
balloon with a wilted cherry red ribbon tied to her
somehow still holding it’s curl
I am partially in tact.

The remains of the deflated promise
in my shivering hands, in early March
on the coast of Maine, I am celebrating my birthday
and she is not.

Hopefully this post will serve as a reminder to everyone who is reading it, that any day is the start of a new year if you are looking for a little inspiration to start your creative juices flowing too.

Need that poem now? Want to support a favorite poet and writer in an old school way? If you absolutely can’t wait to read the rest of this poem, why not consider becoming an anonymous or known benefactor and be the first one to receive a copy of the completed book of poems this time next year? As a thank you, I’ll email you this completed poem as soon as you donate? How? Go to Square and email me a generous donation of your choosing. There are no fees, and according to my brother it takes about three minutes to set up. All you need is my email address: mamacandtheboys@gmail.com  For $25.00 you get this complete poem (in tact), and one poem a month for the next eleven months. For $50.00 you will receive this poem (in tact), and two poems a month for the next eleven months. For $100.00 you get this poem, two new poems for the next eleven months, and a bound and signed copy of the collection by May 2015. For $500.00 you get a poem a week and a photo montage along with a bound and signed copy of the collection by May-June 2015. Creating abundance and support for my work one bold ask at a time. For $5.00 I’ll send you the poem and all my gratitude for believing in me, and for the coffee I’ll buy next time I set out to walk and write. The cup below was sent to me by my middle brother Chuck and his family on a gift card. Mocha Latte all the way….

writers desk
writers desk 3.9.2014


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