Saturday, October 29, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: The Un-Writing Morning


I want to write a note, but I have no words.

So I begin without them.

It is the only way.

The no-words somehow become halting lines, of something. Apology perhaps. Or questions. Explanations maybe, or invitations. The lines stack up, broken thing by broken thing.

Before I know it, I have a poem. This surprises me.

When I come near to the end of my note-poem, I have no words again. Outside, a bird whistles in just the way I used to hear a certain bird in childhood. I don't know what kind she was, but sometimes in the lilacs, or perhaps it was the tall white firs, I heard her calling. This takes me back, and I am reminded of the power of return.

This is not the first time.

Earlier in the week, I was trying to finish a review of a challenging but intoxicating book— A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line. I had no words.

So I returned to these fragments from just a week ago...

Do the shells still hear the sea, though they are in pieces? How deep does the hearing of the sea enter into bone?

The fragments led me into words, sentences, even paragraphs, until I had a whole review made up of broken things. This was good; I met my deadline.

I had no deadline this morning, just a wish to end the poem I could not begin and later could not end. My tea was waiting, and the poem too. So I returned to the sea, the shells in pieces, the bones.

And I wondered, is that all it ever is, really. A willingness to write in fragments, to struggle towards the whole.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Blogger Megan Willome said...

I like what you wrote about the shells.

12:59 PM  
Blogger nance marie said...

words are
like cats
they are
waiting to

2:41 PM  
Blogger sarah elwell said...

shyly offering a link, without any sureness that it is what you are requesting ...

and understanding about writing with no-words, with building using broken things. those who have the skill for gathering silence and brokenness and making them into a whole whilst still retaining the silence and brokenness, these are the talented ones. I count you as one.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I like the line: the power of return.
Very biblical. Ponder that.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

I like what Nance said, "like cats, hiding for a place to pounce"

and in the shelves. I see us, broken, choosing things that interfere with hearing the sea – and the sea rolls on anyway whether we hear it or not. And I see the sea – clearly as God – desiring that the broken shells hear – but not forcing them to. See, this is how I know that YOU are a poet – I would take a whole post – or series of posts to write what you wrote in one line – I heart poetry – artistic – I need a smaller set of paintbrushes in order to do it. God bless and keep you.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Is that all there ever is?

I'm not sure of that, but I am sure that it's enough--sufficient like grace.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous kendal said...

it's all i ever have

9:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I like where you end up when you start with no words.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I'm with Laura. Your starting with no words is so much finer than all the many words so many of us spew.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I'm looking for words these days...

8:36 PM  
Anonymous JoDee Luna said...

Boy do I relate with this post. Well written!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

You're one of my favorite writing teachers, unschooling us all. You have such a lovely way of inviting us to write, even when we have no words.

1:26 PM  
OpenID said...

I know that feeling of no words. Staring at the blank page, or screen, as it were, and just - nothing. Sometimes I try to force out a few bad sentences. Other times I just move on to do something else. Either way, it's broken. But always comes the return, and the wholeness. The written page.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Patricia said...

It's late Tuesday night, I'm behind as usual... with too much on my plate at work... a huge decision to make and this morning I found the high calling focus photo thing on brokenness. I thought of my broken shells and the other broken photos I have been collecting as a way of healing from my own brokenness. And then, just now, I come and read your post here... about the shells. The tears have finally come... I am glad to join you this week.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Blue Cotton Memory said...

On a tour of a historic house, the guide said, "The next time you come through - this house will remember you" - and when you mentioned the call of the bird and the remembrance - I thought how the house that is me remembers the cardinal call early in the morning on old tree branches outside my grandmother's house long ago - and every time I hear one today, I am back there and here at the same time:)

10:40 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

"Do the shells still hear the sea, though they are in pieces? How deep does the hearing of the sea enter into bone?"


10:55 AM  

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