You have been quiet. Not just here, semi-publicly wordless, but in your notebooks and on your beloved steno pads and on your scraps of paper in the bottom of your purse. Your camera has rested snug in its padded bag. Radio silence and imageless days slipping by.
This does not have to be a problem. At any rate, the problem is not so much the words you have not written or the shots you have not captured. The problem is that, as the days slide by, you feel farther and farther from the country where you have written before, where words are scratched and twined and shaped until somehow a poem rises from the page. That land feels more and more like a half-remembered vacation spot, a place you have visited but never lived, and the details of the route there escape you.
This imagined distance makes room for fear, which is always curling hungry around your ankles anyway. Fear that you cannot find your way back to where the writing is, fear that the words have dried up. That you have somehow used your allotment of poetry up, and there won’t be any more, thank you. Take up something else, girlie, anything but a pen.
But let me remind you, you have frozen in this fear before, and that means you know how to free yourself from it. One line, and then another. About something, anything, about breakfast or laundry or the weather in Paris, about Ferris wheels or the glorious golden rise of cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Word by word you will make your way back, you’ll clear your throat, the light will lie on the counter like a spill of buttermilk and you’ll hold the day in your palm, a warm brown egg.
The map you’re making shows the truth, that the words do not live in a distant exotic place, but they cluster in the corners of your kitchen, they’re pushing up like the bulbs in the yard. Let’s go gather them.
Stretching toward spring with all my might
and with the prompts at Write ALM