September 12-September 24, 2013:
The thing about writing is that sometimes I can push it–a deadline helps or waking up with a line or plot-line in my head. But most of the time I am an instinctual writer who works best with my fingers on the keyboard, letting the stories or poems leak out of the fingertips. I am not a careful thinker who dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s before beginning. In my husband’s wonderful phrase, “I show up.” I am where I need to be so that the Muse can find me.
Usually that means sitting in the tv room with the laptop, a cup of tea cooling nearby. Or on a train with three hours to gleefully fill. (Or eight hours, when I trained back from Devon this summer. Oh my! I got a lot of things going then!)
So these last almost two weeks, between jetlag, a fall at the Eric Carle Museum that bruised me a bit but shook me even more, and a lot of travel by car and catch-up on mail etc., I did very little writing. Some poems, some chapters with Adam on Professor of Odds, and that’s about it.
More specifically, I gave a birthday luncheon (cooking it all) for friend Christine and seven of her friends/including her husband and me. I spent two days traveling to Edinburgh and then home to the US by plane. I went to a writer’s meeting, dinner with friends, dinner at my daughter’s house, visited a friend recovering from a small operation, read two Emily Dickinson poems in the Dickinson marathon, fell down at the Eric Carle Museum, drove to Stamford and then New York with daughter Heidi for the Brooklyn Book Festival where I was on a panel and then an autographing, on a local radio show with Heidi, hosted my travel writer cousin Malerie Yolen-Cohen as she did some of her travel writing about Amherst. Lots of busy-ness but not a lot of writing or reading (though am satisfyingly tucked into Emma Bull’s novel Territory for the nonce.
Here’s a poem since I can’t offer much more in the way of journal. Terri W posted a photograph of Henri Matisse and his cat, Miouche. The rest comes from my imagination.
There was always light in the studio
and a little cat chasing the sun
across the floor with velvet paws.
Among the wild beasts, the Fauves,
only the cat knew the true colors
of a rose, a hat, a woman’s fierce eyes.
The green in the paint pot was no match for the springy grass underfoot, the blue too understated for the shifting French skies, and the red too thin for a mouse’s blood
or the smell of death
in the early morning.
©2013 Jane Yolen all right reserved