What a whirlwind the past month has been. I am completely freaked out that June is almost over. I need a recharge. I marvel at people, like M, who seem to just go and go and go. But then I look at my own calendar/schedule and realize how I often I do the same thing. We do the things we have to do and we prioritize what we can.
For a few weeks, I was silent here on the blog. I had a weird stomach flu-type thing and then was in Louisville to score AP exams and didn't feel much like saying anything to anyone.
But this week and next, I get to talk and play and explore writing with middle-schoolers and high-school students. And I've been thinking about how much writing recharges me, how it helps to connect and create. I often lament that I do not make things; I do not crochet or knit or sew. I cannot quilt or make Pinterest projects come to life.
I study rhetoric. I play with design. I see connections among all these things I'm interested in and things I don't know but want to. I complained once that I felt not niche enough for certain job descriptions or even blog readers. I find it difficult to boil things down. But then today, as I described why I write or why it can be fun to see where a word or line takes you, how you can craft meaning, it occurred to me.
My students get tired of me asking them, "what does it mean?" or "how do you create meaning for your readers; how do you connect the dots with them?" But I think of what I do and how I live my life as making meaning.
That's what I do. In my bio, I describe myself as a storyteller, a wish-maker, a believer of love and magic. And all of those are true, but wrapped up in that description, I believe is meaning-maker.
It's what we all want, isn't it? Someone or something to make sense of us? I have been on that journey a very long time and I use this space to help me create meaning in my life, to make sense of my heart, my head, my thoughts and feelings. For me, writing has always been about trying to figure myself out, whether I'm writing fiction or not. I'm always trying to get at something true.
This morning, we played around with short poems and I wrote the following
When I kiss you,
it is not only your mouth
that taunt me
but the words,
(those you do not say)
the ones on the tip
of your tongue.
I had not planned to share it but the group I was working with were mostly in high school and when they asked what I wrote, I read it.
One of the students said, "I never knew poetry could be so sexy."
I smiled. "Just you wait," I thought.
But I said, "Words are infinitely powerful." That is, perhaps, my strongest belief.
I was concerned that heading into this next week and a bit, I would be run down, not quite re-charged. But of course, I forget how inspired I get from other's enthusiasm and excitement. Maybe it's just the recharge I need.
What recharges, inspires, and/or excites you these days?