NaPoWriMo Eve

Almost here!

Tomorrow, a new month.
A new page for new words.
A year since a year ago.
Every day a life, a death
a chance to begin again
and a sky overhead
familiar and changed.

The End of March

Are you ready for NaPoWriMo?

The end of march comes, warily,
sniffing the possibility of trouble,
bursting from winter’s layers,
too familiar, worn too many weeks,
teased out by days suddenly longer —
There’s a scent of snow
though today’s streams run with rain
it’s an uneasiness, that something,
some things are about to happen,
things we can’t take back,
no do-overs. It’s spring
with a chance of not yet.

Mini Stay-Cation

I was definitely due for a little time off. I started out Thursday night by seeing the National Theater Live performance of Julius Caesar in the mall movie theater. Two hours fifteen minutes or so, straight through without intermission. They’d set up their theater so that when you got your ticket you could either be in tiered seating above the performance space or you’d be standing on the same level as the actors, being part of the action as the crowd. Modern setting, Julius was wearing a red baseball style cap, no kidding. And in good Shakespearean fashion it ended with noble speeches over piles of bodies.

Great way to start a vacation.

Saturday I got up pretty early and went to the March for Our Lives in Albany. Very well attended, very inspiring and uplifting speeches from students and old pols alike. I also popped into the Book House to say hi to my NaNoWriMo friends who were doing a meet the author/reading afternoon event for their new publishing company.

I did a lot of little things, I killed a lot of orcs. I found some things like, my calligraphic stash! In a metal lunchbox I’d collaged… maybe in high school or college?

I took this framed piece off the wall thinking to take it out of the little frame it was in and giving it a better home.

But there was a surprise when I turned it over and found this:

I spent quality time with my big cup o’nope this past week and added this to my available avatar/profile photos.

I went out one day and did this (should have tried to get out more to do more of this)

and I practiced my handwriting while trying to learn the gettysburg address.

From the Quote Box

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. — Tao Te Ching

The Litany of Fear

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

— Dune, Frank Herbert

The Tail End of March

March is winding down. Spring has officially arrived but the world of New England and beyond isn’t buying it quite yet. We know this is nothing unusual, having had deep snow even into April but the heart is built to hope and well-supplied with fond memories of warmer weather.

Having reached this far, I’m trying to prepare mentally for NaPoWriMo – yes, it’s time to buckle down and write a poem a day, with only myself and the glory of it all to push for accomplishment. It’s not that you can write a brilliant poem every stinking day for thirty days, but you can sit down and write something. Might be a set of haiku. Sometimes those become something else. It’s just the daily practice, the dailiness that we’re going for here.

How to get ready? Decide on a whether there will be a theme or a form that will build that thirty day arc. Read the helpful materials being posted on writing and writing poetry. I’d say have all the pens ready and filled and paper ready but seriously I’m usually more of a digital creator. Sometimes though you go with a back of an envelope. That’s a fine tradition worth continuing too.

Today’s World Poetry Day – take a poem to lunch! Say something aloud. Amaze yourself and your friends!

Altan – St. Patrick’s Eve

Last night Mom and I headed up to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to enjoy the great music of Altan. They are a wonderful band and put on a good show and they had a very appreciative audience. I had downloaded their new album on the night it was released and enjoyed the live mix of new and old, with explanations as to where it had all come from. Also, that we could imagine what we wanted any of the gaelic language songs to be about, rather than the sad tragedies they usually memorialize.

Next up, Billy Collins reading in Manchester VT in April.

fooling around digitally

Not as welcoming a surface to work on, glass, but when given the opportunity I try to learn more about sketching etc on an iPad. Here was yesterday’s quick “pencil” sketch. I think it was with the 6B setting. Brush, pencil? It’s all software.

Maybe it’s just been a sort of black and white week.

Good Mail Days

The past few days have been good mail days. I wish I’d done an unboxing video of the package that arrived today: Several turns of brown wrapping paper held securely with tough water-activated packing tape, securely taped corrugated cardboard, several more turns of a finer white wrapping paper, and voila, the book. Because of the tape, you couldn’t just rip it apart so it required a sharp implement and some care and much pleasure resulted before the book appeared in view.

It came accompanied by a 52/52 postcard. It’s hard to get into a weekly anticipation flow so I try hard to take them as they come. Thanks Evi!

The first book to arrive, Conversations With Artists, arrived similarly but in more modern wrappings, also requiring some diligence and care, just as securely wrapped but with less pleasurable materials (although all were marked recyclable!)