Thank you everyone for asking my about my periodic engagement with meditation. It’s a wonderfully centering if not essential practice and I’m new– as I was born new and will continue to be new and die new–so I’ve joined a very periodical, playful approach to regular moments of quiet and reflection.
I am grateful, always, that the practice is grounded, guided. Our mentor opens with structured, generative discussion and observations about our goals and practice. Then we sink deeply into a full 20 minute space of silence, of freezing and discarding the frenetic entirety. Now you are upon yourself, your body stock still and upright, and the unwavering lights and moons of the conscious at raging battle behind softly glazed eye-lines.
I make lists. No– I notice that I want to start making lists. Then I work (but what is work) to dismiss the list-making effort as yet another false flag to pull me out of my true self and then, only then, once settled back into the true calm of intention setting and the wash of cerebral time over our addled minds… Yes, It’s true. Because I am a failure: I go back to making lists.
I’ve been better. I really have. Tonight I was just so good with the fact that I showed up all against this strange dance of illusion and poverty for such is the only formal, ballroom exchange that most dedicated writers ever will and truly know. I am not a bad person. I am not an exceptional person. O, I am not a shallow person, but even the ocean has its floor.
What brings you most into the present? When do you feel yourself to be so fully focused– not only physically, but psychologically, emotionally, cerebrally? The life of the mind. How we must all, finally, contend with the fact that we are run and organized by an organ we will never fully understand, whose bidding we do, who grows us, nurtures us, even as she leads us to the gallows or beyond, to a blackberry bush– for a snack. But then back again, too– the gallows. Do you see how there is no let up? Nothing.
Always happy never sad. Always delighted never disappointed. Always mindful never forgetful. Always grateful never begrudging. Always open never closed. Always fresh never spoiled. Always helping never helped. Always wandering never lost. Always curious never complacent. And always, always, thrilled to be featured in Little Patuxent Review, never anything less.
This is the light of the mind,
Cold and planetary
There will never be a greater statement made in this or any language, for here is an intergalactic declaration of independence.Continue reading
It is late-fall in New York and I’m in a flap of a mood having found a stack of rare and original papers in Columbia’s Butler Library with titles like “The Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald” and “Conversations with F. Scott Fitzgerald”. The best of the writings deal with Fitzgerald before Zelda and, in the coming freeze of the season, I like hearing from the man himself about how he held together through hot transitions, time, and matters of the heart. Fitzgerald knew something about pain.
Married domestic by day, dashing secret agent by night, Pamela has done and seen it all. But the years have taken their toll, and it is finally time to hand the work over to young blood. In this exclusive exit interview, Pamela describes her closest calls, her greatest exploits, and the trip to Paris that nearly did her in.
I have nearly completed a working draft of my first novel. Having reflected a bit on the writing process in general, and what I have learned in particular, here are my 18 takeaways:
Summer preview! June 30 is poet and professor Czeslaw Milosz’s birthday, born in Szetejnie, Lithuania in 1911. He maintained “Language is the only homeland,” was fired from his radio position for his leftist views, and received a tip that the Stalinist government was going to arrest him and put him on trial so he fled.
So many poems have been falling out of the sky lately and landing on my head/page/lap/grocery list/tire repair receipt– everywhere. I love this gift of life and learning, the hard work that goes into it, but also the inevitability. The roll of it. Honoring this means stopping to get against a solid service to get the line down, and it also means granting permission to do so rather than denigrating my talent with bullshit like “Oh, that’s stupid” or “Who even reads poems anyway?” or “I can’t do this.”
Answers: “No it’s not.” “Everyone, whether they realize it or not.” “Yes you can.” Good, glad that’s clear now.