Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Full List of Things I Haven’t Really Wanted to Talk About

1. The reason I haven’t written anything about Buddy in a while is that he’s been AWOL since the snowstorms in late February. We are heartbroken. I feel guilty for letting him out, but he was miserable when he was stuck inside and happy when he was outside and we had to make a decision at some point about his personal cat freedom. Now I feel bad. I still have a sliver of hope that he’ll come back, but that sliver is quickly wearing down to a bare thread. Either way, we won’t be getting any more cats.

2. The reason that I haven’t written anything about the novel in a while is because I secretly gave up on it but I didn’t want to admit that to anyone. The submission process was so demoralizing I lost all hope and faith in the process, then in the story itself, and finally in myself. I am currently telling myself that I need to think of it as just an exercise and to let go of it and move on. But it nags at me. I feel like I need to perform a burial ritual to fully close this out.

3. The reason that I haven’t written anything about crafting for a while is that I realize I don’t have the will to finish anything I start and I feel bad about this weakness. I like doing the fun parts, but it when it comes to the thinky, technical parts of finishing a piece, I completely lose interest. I currently have four unfinished pieces stuffed in the hall closet that I can’t face looking at, but I haven’t wanted to start something new because the unfinished pieces are haunting me.

4. I started playing around with writing poems again but I don’t know if my ideas will work out or not. My ideas are about the body, but in a much different way that I’ve written about it in the past, and I’m not sure where it’s going to take me. I want to write about the body from the point of view of strength and power, mastery and discipline, grace and balance, joy and gratitude, ownership and inhabiting, rather than the body as enemy, the body as victim, the body as a burden, the body as wounded. I may be able to do this, but then again I may not.

5. I awoke in the night with a very sad memory that I’m not sure is a real memory or not. I recalled being in fifth grade, very tall and very skinny. I was all alone on a basketball court, practicing shooting baskets. I was wearing a beige sweater, and I felt excruciatingly lonely. I think the strength training is jarring loose some old pain around my life-long sense of physical failure.

6. I quit eating dairy some time ago and over all, I feel much better for it. I didn’t feel like mentioning it because there is nothing more boring than listening to someone go on and on about their personal dietary decisions, and I feel no need to proselytize about it. It was a good decision for me personally, that’s all. The only drawback is that I do really miss fancy cheese. I have to deliberately not look at it in the grocery store or I get sad.

7. The reason I haven’t written about poetry much is because the only poet I want to read lately is Wallace Stevens. I bought an anthology of his in Sitka years ago and I’ve been reading it every day and it’s astounding and I’ve come to realize that he’s a genius and that he has bumped Anne Sexton from the top spot of my favorite poets. However, I have taken breaks to read the new anthology from Rose Alley Press, “Footbridge Over the Falls,” and you should get it and read it too as it is full of excellent-ness:

Well, I think that’s enough dark secrets for this week, folks. Tune in next time for God only knows what.

--Kristen McHenry


Unknown said...

Here is the music I will add to this piece. Think of it what you may!
~Margi said...

Beautiful, Kristen, just beautiful. And so well-constructed and thought-provoking.