I walked outside this morning at 5 a.m.--fog! Silvery, misty fog. I've lived in parts of the country where fog in the morning would not be unusual, but we don't get much fog at my house at the southern tip of the U.S. We're three miles from the beach, so there's usually too much breeze for fog to form. There's also either too much moisture in the air, which would result in
rain, not fog, or not much moisture in the air at all, especially in the non-summer months.
People think of South Florida as humid and hot, but most of the rest of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River is much more hot and humid, at least in the summer. Here we break records if our high temps go above 96 degrees; I've lived places where the summer highs were 110 for days at a time, and those temps weren't record breaking. Likewise, with our beach breezes, the humidity doesn't really get dense, the way it does in many other parts of the country.
So, fog this morning. And then I went for a run, which is also infrequent for me these days. Four days a week, I go to spin class, and I force myself to pedal at a furious pace. My plan is always to run 2 other days during the week, but I rarely do. Some days I walk. On fewer days, I run. Some days, exercise is just not part of the plan.
Yesterday, I got notice that two of my poems had been accepted for pacificREVIEW. Hurrah! And later, I stopped to think about how long it had been since my work had been accepted by a new venue, especially a venue that had been in existence for awhile. I've had good luck with literary magazines that are just starting, but journals to which I've been submitting for years but never getting an acceptance? Not as much.
Maybe I should have realized that my luck was turning when I started getting handwritten notes on certain rejection slips. But then what do I do with the experience of almost having a poem accepted by a journal last year (rejected in the final round, darn it!), and then this year, a rejection slip without any encouragement at all? It's always hard to know, isn't it?
So, I will do what I've always done, submit and submit and submit again.
In the meantime, I have some prose pieces to write--for money! As well as for love! That's been infrequent, but I'm hoping it will become the new normal. More on those pieces as they appear.
If you're a Florida resident, you have until tomorrow to get your chapbook manuscript in the mail for the YellowJacket Press Peter Meinke Prize--no entry fee! Now that's an infrequent event. You can get more details here.
Tomorrow, I have the day off. Yes, the rest of the world had Monday off, but for reasons mysterious to me, our school will celebrate Presidents Day tomorrow. I'll continue to wrestle with the poem I've been writing that thinks about Metro cards and subways. I used to keep a Metro card with me, even when I didn't live in D.C. My younger self saw that Metro card as a talisman, something to keep me from seeming ordinary and boring. My younger self thought that being ordinary and boring would be the WORST THING EVER.
Now, I'm thinking about subways and journeys and life and wondering how to create a poem that doesn't seem cliched and all too frequent. Today I'm thinking about being on a subway line to a destination that wasn't what I planned, but isn't that bad, all things considered.
Today, I'm grateful for the days when my life is ordinary and boring, and happily, my daily life is frequently ordinary and boring. My grown up self knows that unordinary lives are often wretched. Non-boring means that a family member lies dying or a hurricane has come through or the house needs repair or the court system has opened its gaping maw and sucked you right into its grinding jaws.
Let the subway ride of my life be normal and boring! Let me conserve all the energy that goes into engineering an eventful life go to my creative pursuits instead.
Darkness Sticks to Everything
4 days ago