Happy New Year! Photo Karen Iuppa
So, here we are on the brink of a new year, thinking, What to do, what to do that's oh so new.
For me, it's time to create a catalog that focuses on creative process. I think I need to spend some time reflecting on inspiration, muses, choices; perhaps revealing what actually happens when you choose to live an introspective life.
In many ways, living here on Red Rooster Farm is a cloistered life. I do love the view outside of every window in this old farmhouse. I can get lost in the dome of lake sky that you see illustrated on this page. To imagine this place of ever-changing beauty, to be an integral part of it every day for the past 28 years is privilege. Its ephemeral nature humbles me. This connection to the glacier landscape, to Ontario is my spiritual core. Consequently, when I look at my poetry, collection to collection, I see the day to day, the 1000 piece puzzle that is my life here. Each poem is a thumbnail study of a life in progress. Each lyric essay has captured the past and its life lessons. Each fiction has taken the peculiar stories and made them into mirrors. Faces, that are often grotesque and wily, and only truly seen by the viewers.
It's so demanding to look closely at what is happening all around me. Recently, I returned to my daily practice of writing. I wanted to resume work on my novella, and had a bit of a jog trying to locate the document in my files. Once I did find it, I began reading it from the top. I was stunned to find it so engaging (seriously, this surprised me). I was interested in the characters, and actually got lost in their actions, interactions, reactions. I was surprised my the word/page count, wondering how did that happen? So I've resumed this work. I'm wondering what will happen next in this story that will no doubt teach me a lot about relationships.
I think I know where I am. I know that may be a curious statement, since I should know where I am. But this is not about location, which I know is everything. This is something else in a creative life. Today, I'm feeling relaxed and certain. I realize things take time. I really learned that lesson this past summer, spending hours upon hours in our vegetable gardens. I think I wrote while I was weeding. Actually, I think I'm writing most of the time, unless I have to pay attention to you. Strange thing about teaching, I have a lot of 'you' in my working life. Good thing, I actually care about you-- you as an individual, you as a group. This paying attention gives me a chance to participate in a creative life from a different angle. I would say my own work is an inward action, whereas teaching is an outward action. I give directions. Some follow; some do not. Some get to their destination; some get lost. It's the life is a journey cliche.
This year I'm unfurling a new roll of paper and will begin drawing a new map. Perhaps you, gentle reader, will join me.