“This is June, the month of grass and leaves . . . already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me. I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late. Each season is but an infinitesimal point. It no sooner comes than it is gone. It has no duration. It simply gives a tone and hue to my thought. Each annual phenomena is reminiscence and prompting. Our thoughts and sentiments answer to the revolution of the seasons, as two cog-wheels fit into each other. We are conversant with only one point of contact at a time, from which we receive a prompting and impulse and instantly pass to a new season or point of contact. A year is made up of a certain series and number of sensations and thoughts which have their language in nature. Now I am ice, now I am sorrel. Each experience reduces itself to a mood of the mind.”
~ Henry David Thoreau, Journal, June 6, 1855
Ah, June … the month that marks the start of summer, and the end of the school year. June, when the world begins to fruit and flower under the bright, burning sun. Already, the heat has begun to rise early in the morning.
I feel like time is just rushing by. This past week, my older daughter had a graduation ceremony – next year, she will enter high school. By the end of this month, my younger daughter will also have a graduation ceremony. She will begin middle school in September.
This is a bittersweet time; we are all transitioning. I know that my role as a parent is evolving, and it’s exciting. But I also find myself just looking at my children with wonder – so much life has happened in these years. And when I see them, I see them at birth, at three years old, at five, ten, now … Giving birth is a shared experience. A baby is born, a mother is born. I am both humbled and grateful when I think of all my children have given to me, and what an honor it is to share this incredible bond with them.
June is a busy time. There are end of the school year projects, concerts, plays, field trips, field days, ceremonies, parties, and all sorts of other miscellaneous things. Over the last few weeks, I also started a new job, so that has just added to the chaos. It is not a dream job by any means, but I feel okay about it. I have also applied for some adjunct positions teaching creative writing in the fall, so … I’m crossing my fingers. I miss teaching. I’m casting my nets, hoping I will find where I am meant to be, hoping I’ll reach a financially stable place in the process. There are a lot of changes, all around.
I’m still waiting to hear about my submitted poetry manuscript, which could take another couple of months. And I have a whole host of poems and stories that I am waiting to hear about. There are some things that have been accepted for publication, and more time to pass until I see them in print or on the web. I’m also in the process of writing some new stories and poems, which is always fun.
Recently, I was part of a reading for “Lustfully Ever After”! It was really great. Bluestockings is an amazing bookstore, and it was a great space for the reading. It was truly wonderful to be part of the event, and to talk with people after the reading. It was very interesting. I was told that my reading – my voice and the way I read the story aloud – seemed like poetry. I was a little surprised at how many people really seemed to like my story, and how it was described as different, poetic, impressionistic. One woman wanted to talk to me a little bit about some of the underlying ideas and concepts in my retelling that came across to her, and that was really nice.
As a writer, it’s such a privilege to hear what others find in your work. Even when people comment on my blog posts, it really touches me to know that my work has reached someone. So often, writers send their work into the world, where it is received by others in a very private way – a solitary and intimate way – through the thought process of another person’s mind. And when we read, we bring our own meanings and experience and ideas to the text, recreating and redefining the work. That’s what I love best about reading, and it’s also one of the things I love best about writing.
That night, after the reading, the authors who read and some friends who joined us post-reading to celebrate, wandered around the lower east side in NYC for a bit, then stumbled upon a nice restaurant that wasn’t too expensive. We settled in for some wine and beer, great food, great dessert, and wonderful conversations throughout the evening. What a treat to spend time with such intelligent, creative, amazing, real, and grounded people, talking about writing and books and art and life and everything in between.
The beginning of June also ushered in the end of the submission period for Siren. I received hundreds of submissions for the first issue, and I can’t express how happy and grateful I am that so many people were interested in being part of the webzine. It was so exciting to read all of the submissions, to see how such vastly different people are engaging with writing and art, trying to do new things and approach their creative pursuits in different ways.
The necessary evil about putting together a webzine is that I can’t accept all of the submissions. And as excited and thrilled I was about accepting some of the work, I knew I also had to reject so many. As a writer, I know how hard it can be to get that rejection letter sometimes. It was a heavy weight for me, but I hope that everyone who submitted knows how honored I was to receive their submissions, and truly wish them the best of luck as they continue creating and sharing their work.
June. Here I am again – late night, the children are asleep. The house is quiet and still. I am alone. I am ink-blood words knit into bone, woven language, waking dreams.