Thursday, January 7, 2016

Epiphany in a Windowless Room Under a Fluorescent Sky

I thought that yesterday was going to be a day of many meetings--it was actually a day that was one long meeting.

During yesterday's meeting, I thought about the fact that it was Epiphany, and I sat in a windowless room under a fluorescent sky.  I composed lines for poems and eventually wrote a sonnet.  It's not a great sonnet, or even a good sonnet, but it kept me steady and focused.  Writing in rhyme and form is an interesting exercise, but not one I force myself to do often.

During our morning break, a colleague friend asked me what I was doing, and I told her.  Then I had to explain what a sonnet is--my English major colleague friends helped, especially when we talked about iambic pentameter.

My sonnet is not in iambic pentameter.  I am not that talented/dedicated/interested.

I thought of a formalist poet friend from years ago.  She would work on a poem for months, crafting every line until the meter was perfect--and it seemed natural.  Mine just seems forced, but that's likely because I only work on it for an hour or an afternoon.

In the afternoon, I sketched angels and vines around the margins of my meeting agenda.  My Culinary colleague friend sitting beside me sketched an angel in profile.  Mine was full on, with a cartoonish face.  My writer colleague friend thought the angel was saying no, because of her o-shaped mouth.  I had intended to show that she was singing, so I sketched some musical notes around her head.

I thought of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez story, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"--I titled mine A Very Young Girl with Ragged Wings.  Her wings were ragged, and her gown had layers of ruffles that may or may not have been ragged.

My writer colleague friend asked if I was going to write about her.  My visual artist colleague friend asked if I was going to construct the dress.  I was just filling time during the afternoon meeting and responding to the doodle of my Culinary colleague friend beside me.  I thought about the different responses to my doodle--how intriguing!

I came home and checked through every slide for an online course I'll be teaching and did dishes.  I would have rather had a different 3 Kings celebration, but oh well.  My spouse has been fighting a cold (the cold has been winning), and even if he hadn't, I'm not sure what we would have done differently.

By the end of the day, I had written 2 poems in free verse (one written before I left for school), an unfinished poem in free verse, and a sonnet--plus a series of sketches--all in all, a great day in terms of creativity.  Here is my sonnet:

We stare at our phones and our screens,
no time to search for a star.
We consume information in constant streams,
but wisdom remains afar.

We sit in endless meetings
under a fluorescent sky.
Some look at numbers to determine meanings,
but most don't even try.

We wish for clear direction:
Come to Bethlehem and see.
We hope for resurrection:
Take your family and flee.

But even if the messenger did appear,
we are much too distracted to hear.

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