Sunday, August 16, 2015

Working My Way Out of the Bog of Despair

On Thursday morning, as I waited for my computer to do all its updating, I decided to use the Poet's Tarot (for more details on the deck, go here).  I decided to pull out the Major Arcana card, shuffle them, and pull out a random card.

I got XXI, the Denise Levertov card.  The Guidebook has the subtitle "on the threshold of abundance."  Oh how I needed this hope!  I needed this reminder:  "Each goal that you set in your creative life and accomplish is worth celebrating."

I pulled the card after several days of being stuck in a bog of despair, a bog of feeling like I have accomplished nothing with my life.  I had ignored the very good advice that I got from a wise yoga teacher years ago:  "Quit comparing yourself to everyone else.  It won't help!"

What restored me?  Well, on Wednesday, I had tea with my writer-colleague-friend at work.  We talked about my boggy feelings.  She said that no publication she's ever had compares to the feeling of having gotten a piece of writing down.  It was good to remember that.

On Wednesday evening, I was preparing statistics for my annual review.  I counted up the number of submissions I had made:  50 submissions of poetry packets.  I had 5 acceptances.  That's a 10% acceptance rate, right?  That's better than some years, weaker than others.

I reminded myself that I had finished my memoir revisions and started submitting to agents.  I came very close to winning the Concrete Wolf annual chapbook competition.  I reread the gracious rejection from Copper Canyon Press.

When I pulled the Levertov card, it felt like a message, that I have set in motion something that will soon come to fruition.  Let it be so.