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Friday, September 28, 2012

Today Simran Khurana, in 'About dot com,' quotes a poem that seems pregnant with meaning. Does it speak of a single day, a certain age, or a lifetime?
Whence are the flowers, and whose?  Why are they faded?  Why would anyone have a question for the flowers themselves?  If you could, what would you ask? (Hm, this might be a subject for one of those idea-exploring, letters to an inanimate object!)  And how can dried flowers be a 'measure' of an absence?
What has the speaker experienced, to be gaunt and dusty gray?  Define 'roaming.'  Is this an accidental encounter?  Is anything spoken aloud...or, is this an afterthought? Who is 'I' and who 'you'?  "You walked a way beside me to make me sad to go..." is that  bittersweet, or just bitter, or regretful...and why?
Much as I eschew literary analysis, preferring,  like C.S.Lewis, to let the words have their own say, the questions keep coming.  Why this poem today?  Why me? ( I'll take this poem with me, into today.) Here it is: 

"Flower Gathering," by Robert Frost

I left you in the morning,
And in the morning glow,
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?

All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting Unstuck

Kamy Wicoff on asks what writers do when they get stuck, and the answers are many and varied
as the possibilities.  I hardly begin to describe the tip of the iceberg in my comment, vis:

"I eat.  'Works better when the edibles are nutritious--fruit, veggies, high fiber snacks, lowfat cheese, and of course DARK CHOCOLATE, tea.  I call one of my 'team.' Friends who know my writing woes and work, and encourage me to try again.  I exercise.  Walking with or without a neighbor, isometrics designed to keep me limber, stairs, laundry, groceries (yes, I call these exercise.)  Read a book.  The current one-in-progress or one that is calling my name.  Look out the window.  Nature is everywhere, waiting to be observed.  Go to a concert, lecture, reading, or art exhibit. Freebies are to be had everywhere in our city. Work in another medium than words for awhile.  Take a pencil and pad of paper on a walk, inside or outside, and record your observations without words.  Nap.  With an insistent timer set for 30 minutes or less.  Call on an older person who is isolated. The benefit is reciprocal. People watch.  At shopping center, playground, on my street.  Volunteer.  Reading stories at a nursery school is my favorite.  Cries of "Grammy Shirley's here!" really set me up.  Last but not least, bring something, anything, to run past my writers' critique group.  Gets me going, every time.  Getting stuck happens to all of us.  What we do with it is up to us."

I can still hear my father saying, jovially, but very earnestly, "Don't just sit there.  DO something!"  I agree!

Friday, September 7, 2012

In a Manner of Speaking, or, Reading into Pooh

I have discovered a delightful neo-Pooh title, THE TAO OF POOH, by
Benjamin Hoff, who uses Winnie-the-Pooh-like language to explain the
concepts of tao.  It's catching--in the following, which came into my
head on my morning walk today, I've attempted to imitate that manner of
speaking.  I can hardly wait to finish TAO and read THE TE OF PIGLET
by the same author!

"Hmphnysh," muttered Pooh, not yet quite awake.
"What?" asked Piglet.
"Love," said Pooh, stretching himself a little, and
"Oh," said Piglet. Then, after awhile, Piglet added,
"I thought you said 'laugh.'"
Pooh, now fully awake, lost no time in setting
the record straight. "Same thing," he replied.
It was in the fall of the year, and a good day to be alive.
Eeyore nodded, as he plodded along behind them. -- SF