The past few days have found me writing new poems to add to my collection, Persephone’s Affliction. I finished the first draft of the manuscript within this year, and have spent the past several months revising and submitting individual poems to different publications.
There have been many rejections, and some beautiful acceptances. It’s always a challenge to find homes for one’s work, and when an editor of a journal really connects with your writing, it is a powerful form of affirmation. Knowing your work is going to be read in a well crafted collection by an appreciative audience is really what I think all writers hope for.
Perhaps it is the season, but since my children have gone back to school, I have been writing non-stop. Stories that have been floating in my mind since the summer are forming into complete thoughts, aching to be brought to life through language. The poems I’ve been writing recently seem to be coming from another place, fleshing out certain areas and giving more movement to the collection as a whole.
I’ve also been sending some stories for publication, and I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing them in print. My collection of gothic tales has been put on the back burner since I finished the poetry manuscript, but it is never far from my mind. And I feel like the next month is going to be a watershed of creative output. I have a little more time until I begin working in the day again, and I am thankful for the gift of time.
I’ve found myself very discouraged recently, feeling that I do not belong in this world. I mean, I am part of this world. Of course I am – and maybe even more than some, because I am raising two children who are part of a new generation of people, and I have taught many, many more.
But, I am also sometimes naive, and maybe too idealistic. I believe the best in people and trust that the faces they show are real and true … and when people reveal who they are inside, it is sometimes heartbreaking. It makes me want to give up. It makes me feel like there is no hope for any of us. Here, in this life together.
But then something simple happens and my whole world shines from within: Love.
I spent the weekend with my children really just connecting – they’re growing so fast and it’s so important to me to be together, to evolve as they do. We watched a movie together, we laughed and put our arms and legs over each other, just feeling the comfort of each other’s presence.
I also spent time with my lover in much the same way, enjoying each other’s company, talking, hanging out, and sharing intimacy – as lovers do, which would only cause my face to burn hot dare I describe the ways in which we loved.
My friends too seemed to gather around me recently, without me saying a word about feeling depressed or stressed out. And I’m so grateful for the small community of support that I have … knowing that there are people who love me and who believe in me gives me so much, and allows me to focus on the other work I need to do in my life.
My writing is a gift, a gift that I can give back to the world. And I am trying, I am here, awake and alive. Somewhere in the dark there is always light – in love, in kindness, in the communities we build around us. This light, so bright, is always within us, burning as stars do in a clear blue sky.
“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry