Archive for February 3rd, 2023

Laura has the roundup this week.

Catherine Flynn of our writing group, the Inkings, put forth this challenge for our first of the month poetry challenge: “Somewhere, someone recommended the book How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. It includes “reflective pauses” and invitations for “writing and reflection.” After the poem “Work,” by Sally Bliumis-Dunn, (https://sallybliumisdunn.com/) the invitation reads: “Can you remember a time when you felt so consumed with the act of making something that you lost all sense of time and your mind seemed to clear? What allowed you to enter this mindful creative space?”

Mindful creative space is also known as Flow as defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I studied his theory way back in the early 90’s when I was getting my masters in gifted education. It can be such a euphoric feeling that many creatives crave it. Like time doesn’t exist or matter. It hasn’t been happening to me lately, and this prompt challenge made me start thinking about what my blocks to flow have been.

You can read this list as a list of excuses (because they are) or as a sad list of losses. But the more I read about grief and writing and mental health, I realize that this is normal. Frustrating. Yes. But normal and as my Nikki McClure calendar reminds me, I will get through.

Calendar by Nikki McClure

Flow, not Flowing

I lost my journal,
the one notebook with the instructions on how to do this thing
called writing. Hiding
between the books in the school backpack,
and then there’s the time it takes to pack a lunch
and get out the door. Not to mention
the dog threw up again this morning.

I lost my godchild,
the one I’d hadn’t seen in years. She was growing up,
going to graduate school, doing all the things
a twenty-something does without a care,
yet now I care because she’s gone

and I can’t sleep or write or do anything
to make all those absent years present again.

I lost my happiness, buried deep
in the rains of winter, drowning out
the words I want to write, need to write.

“Are you writing?” they ask. I say I am
because that is what I do. Say it until it is true.
This is my confession and to tell the truth,
it flowed right out of me.

Margaret Simon, on-the-spot-I-need-to-post-something draft

Here are links to my Inkling friends’ posts:

Mary Lee

A bonus blossom:
I’ve had this orchid for a year, at least and these blossoms popped out this week.

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