Poetry, Writing

When All Else Fails

I don’t have the words today.

What I mean is, I have nothing illuminating or interesting or amusing of my own to share.  I’m just not in the mood.

So I’m going to leave you with some more bits on Warsan Shire.

I’ve made no secret of my fascination with her. And through the clouds that continue to linger over me, I’m starting to realize why.  I don’t have the words today, so I can’t tell you exactly what it is. Maybe later. But not right now.

Anyway, enjoy these interview excerpts I rounded up:

List 3 things that have made you a better poet?

1. Not competing,

2. not comparing,

3. being honest (even if the truth is perhaps a little shameful, a little painful)

from “Ask a Poet” by Indigo Williams. Read the rest here.

Any writing rituals? What is your writing process like? Do you keep a journal, write before dawn…?

I write when everyone is asleep. I write with music. I never plan it. But it is a very constant. It feels organic. My poems come to me in images, like film. I can see it very clearly and then this overwhelming urge to write out best what I just saw comes over me. I write best with free writes, where I refuse to edit what is leaving me, where I write within a specific time frame. I refuse to obsess over it, and if it doesn’t come out easily, then I leave it. I don’t write for an audience. I don’t write under pressure. I’m thankful to take my time. The poems happen to me. Sometimes I have no actual idea where they have come from.

from “To Be Vulnerable and Fearless” by Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Read the rest here.

How did you develop such an acute sense of observation (about human nature in particular)? Is it something that came naturally to you or was it something that developed over time? Is that sense of observation perhaps what drew you to write in the first place?

I’ve always been very observant; I’d rather listen than speak. It’s overwhelming, the amount of detail I see in really mundane scenarios: strangers touching one another; someone arguing on the phone; a man falling asleep on the train. I’ll fill in the gaps of the story myself. In my mind I’ll follow them home, I’ll imagine their childhood, what their bedroom looks like, if they are in love with someone who does not love them. The downfall is that I give everything (and everyone) too much meaning. Sometimes a thing is vacant and I’ll create depth for it; that’s not always fair.

From “Warsan Shire’s Raw & Vulnerable Poetry” by Anya Wassenberg for OkayAfrica. Read the rest here.

And finally, listen to Warsan herself read her poem “What We Have” here (fast forward to the 23:30 mark, though the rest of the discussion is fairly interesting if you like poetry). I’m thinking of getting the last line of this poem tattooed on the inside of my left arm:

The only darkness we should allow into our lives is the night, and even then, we have the moon.

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Personal, Poetry, travel

Excuses For Why We Failed At Love

More from Warsan Shire.

This video makes me want to go to France. My parents took me to Paris when I was two and a half.  My father likes to tell the story about how, in the crowded Eiffel Tower elevator, I looked over his shoulder at the city below us and said, “Uh oh.”  My mother likes to remind me that I made friends with the German girl whose family stayed in the room next to us. And Japanese tourists at Versailles wanted to take pictures of me.  “Maybe they’d never seen such a cute Black baby before, I don’t know.”  I haven’t been back to Paris since. I know I’ll make it there some day.

My excuse?  Oh, there are many.  Too many to bore you with right now…

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Books, Goals, Personal, Yoga

Notes on YTT

Today,  I’m celebrating the slow return of longer days simply by resting.

This week has been interesting.  It was fairly slow at work, which gave me a lot of time to think about my yoga teacher training.

I realized:

the first three months have flown by. and I’m nowhere near close to finishing my requirements.

I freaked out and bought a 2013 planner, then color-coordinated my class schedule from this week until March 17, which is the day of our final practicum.  Purple indicates a Vinyasa Flow class with Laurie.  Green indicates a Vinyasa Flow class with one of Laurie’s Prana Shakti Flow  trained teachers. Blue indicates a Vinyasa Flow class observation.  My planner is a flurry of all my favorite colors.

Between now and March 17, 2013, I must complete 8 more classes with Laurie. I must also take 8 classes with PSF teachers– I’ve decided that Lauren’s Friday open level Vinyasa and Jennie’s Saturday level 1/2  Warm Vinyasa best fit my schedule.  And after I finish up my classes with Laurie, I can begin my observations of her classes.  I’ll also observe some prenatal classes, since I am definitely interested in teaching prenatal yoga. I need to complete 14 more observations; at least five of them will be prenatal.  I’ll probably change that to include more prenatal classes, but for now,  I’m tired of fiddling with my planner.

I went to Laurie’s Vinyasa and Meditation classes last night, as has become my Thursday after-work ritual.  And after we meditated, she reassured me that I’m on the right track; she’s noticed that I’ve been in her classes consistently over the last few months.  She overhead me telling a classmate how tired I’ve been lately, and said, “Keisha. You are much too hard on yourself.  You need to get some rest. Stop thinking. Just rest.”

I took her advice. I’ve been in bed all day, snuggled up with cup after cup of green tea, the latest issue of Poets & Writers, and a few good books, including “nomad of salt and hard water” by fellow VONA alum, Cynthia Dewi Oka.  I probably won’t leave the house at all today or tomorrow.

I’m okay with that.

Have a beautiful weekend, my loves.

 

 

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