Friday, September 16, 2011


Portion of a page from journal fiction.

In the 1980s, I was part of two (well, really three) different fiction workshops and because of that was motivated to write fiction every week. For the first group, which held together for about a year and a half, we had assignments and I used that as the weekly task.

There were also in-class exercises and reading aloud, something which I had never done. Finding that my voice gave further dimension to my voice transformed my view of self. Reading my work made me happy. It still does. A wall slid away and someone I had not known was there stepped forward.

With each day measured in finite hours and myself no longer - if I ever was - seen as any version of a dynamo, I find limits of time, focus and energy, versus the list of what might become real by my hands, frustrating. I do my best to think in reasonable compartments, yet the past few nights when I woke up, instead of just going back to sleep, I turned on the light, found my glasses and drew. This is not time stretching to accommodate my needs, I realize. I will called upon for a payback later in the day when I fall asleep like a narcoleptic at the computer.

Life as a bento box: in theory, a portion of fiction, non-fiction, correspondence, conversation, chores (though truthfully, with the exception of cooking this finishes a distant last to all other options), aspects of art, time spent with my son. Yet if I set a timer for, say, writing a blog post, the bell would ding and I'd either hear it and wonder what it was or it would whistle past like a night train as I slept.

Slow, I feel that I am slow, yet also know that the wish to achieve renewed goals, to breathe life into more of my ideas, tugs at me like an impatient child. "You promised..." she says, pulling my hand. What I know that she does not is that life drives this car, not I. The bigger picture, the broader agenda, things happen as they do. The same unseen conductor who summons me and what I hope I possess has also set the pace. For now, I am a very old tortoise with just the one speed. But trust that my mind is spinning, or at least whirring, with each jolting yet firm step.


Angella Lister said...

slow is good if that is what the creative child of your mind is asking for. the pace is always perfect.

again, am so loving the art.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Since slow is what we have, slow must be the answer. And thank you...I'm enjoying the challenge to pull things together so I can share it. xo

beth coyote said...

I've been gestating poems all summer and now the weather has changed and they're about to come to the surface. Sometimes I get too impatient. Not good a waiting.

Antares Cryptos said...

Love the art work.

It's amazing what ends up on a white page, when we make or take the time.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - Around here it feels as though there was a postal strike and all the withheld mail has been delivered at once. Poems rising to the surface, a different sort of midwifing (which you've probably heard a thousand times)...autumn and so many reasons for that sense of quickening. I have grown somewhat accustomed to waiting...generally, things do not happen for/with me. And it is clear I can only do one thing at a time. Wishing you well as the poems bloom. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - Thank you. It is daunting to realize we are the only limits to what may happen on that page. Reminder to self: think infinite. xo