Yesterday's post may have moped too long in the land of "What if it's too late?" Throughout the time since I wrote it, I've come across items that give me hope. It's almost as if the universe is trying to tell me something!
Last night, I flipped through a book to find this quote from Thomas Merton: "There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular--and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity." (from New Seeds of Contemplation)
I find it somewhat ironic that I found this quote in Todd Henry's The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice. It's the kind of book that gives us tips and techniques for organizing our time and ideas, the kind of book where I find I'm already doing a lot of these techniques--and I do have the idea that Merton might say we're not really listening to his quote.
There's a fascinating post at the Monkey See blog that reflects on book writing, book promoting, and the role of social media. Martha Woodruff has posted a whole series, in fact. I love all of her posts on the process of writing the first book. And what I love more is what I learned from listening to this story: Martha Woodruff is 64! Maybe it's not too late for me.
And if you find this kind of writing about writing inspiring, don't miss this site: http://theamericanscholar.org/daily-scholar/writing-lessons/. Every Monday there's a new post, and they're fairly short, but full of wisdom.
And then, yesterday, there was this piece on NPR about a fascinating art project that plants a ceramic poppy for every British and colonial life lost during World War I: 888,246 ceramic poppies.
Let me pause a minute for that # to sink in--and that's only British and colonial lives--not French, not German, not U.S. And it doesn't count the injured.
So, let me take a minute of gratitude here: even if my poems are never collected in a book, I still have the freedom to write, the time, the support of those who love me. Those blessings are not small. I am not in a war zone. I have fresh water just by turning the tap. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge.
Publication that comes later or not at all suddenly seems like an insignificant thing to fret about.
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3 months ago