It's been a month of transformations......and, as I mentioned yesterday, of many endings. At the beginning of April, here's how it looked outside our front door...
...and by a couple days ago, there was green on the ground and I was picking nettles for my green smoothie, sometimes able to go outside unbundled.
There are still patches of snow in the shade even on our place though, and higher up and farther from the ocean, it's still deep.
I finished up and sent in my eight and final packet of the MFA year. The final for my course is live. Many people I know moved house; several got married.
Turn and turn and turn.
And through every day of it, I wrote a blog post, faithfully but not always cheerfully following the prompts.
The Challenge, ResponseThere was more emphasis on the visual and pictorial in the prompts than I ordinarily go for, and I think that was a good challenge for me, pushing beyond my comfort zone. The whole thirty days was an invitation to exceed my comfort zone in a more general way, to write about "health" on this blog not just through sharing allergy-friendly recipes, but also through talking frankly about my own "issues."
I've feared judgment, feared triggering loved ones or worrying other loved ones, feared that self revelation might be taken against me on a professional level, feared being perceived as courting the wrong kind of attention. I've been accused or warned of several of those things. But this challenge introduced me to bloggers whose whole focus is to write about the experience of having a stigmatized health condition from the inside. Some of my most powerful creative writing recently has come from that same place--writing that I haven't been able not to write.
These posts have helped me gain some perspective on those more private, intense pieces of writing. And while I've shared those intense pieces of writing with a very few trusted friends, mentors and writing group colleagues, the blog posts are out there for anyone who chooses to read them. The responses to my writing, both private and public, writing, both private and public responses, consistently humble me. I've received frank, personal feedback, constructive criticism, some essential leavening of praise, and, best gift of all, the news that I've moved people or struck chords of resonance and recognition within them.
I've strengthened connections with a couple bloggers I followed before this challenge, and connected strongly with a couple new-to-me voices. A small regret I have is not having spent more time reading other challenge participants and getting to know everyone better--but then I didn't write a poem a day in April either, and consoled myself with the reflection that all the wonderful prompts flying around the blogosphere would still be there in May--as will the treasure trove of posts written in response to this challenge. Which brings me to...
What Next?Well, as you can see, there's a band of fog on the horizon. "What's next" is not entirely clear to me.
It's hasn't been my regular habit to write a post every day: I've generally been on a four posts per week schedule. Although I enjoyed the daily blog posting, I suspect I'll step back to four per week once again.
With all the changing and falling and ending, it's hard not to see this as a more cosmic end. Right now, I'd feel quite content to ring down my curtain, call it quits--it's been a great show. But after I've caught up on some sleep, perhaps the desire to shape more words and share more experiences and sensations, will surpass the fascination with disintegration, with separating into my several elements and floating, washing, sinking away.
I owe you guys some recipe posts too. I hope it's not off-putting to the foodie readers that other topics are here to stay in addition.
What would YOU like to see more of on here in May and beyond?