Sunday, August 25, 2013

memory and time

I am fascinated by concepts of how we perceive time and how memory seems so variable, often changing in each recall. Of course, as a poet, both time and memory are central to my writing. Maria Popova in a brilliant review of Claudia Hamilton’s Time Warped:Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception used this quote connecting memory with how we perceive time:
It is memory that creates the peculiar, elastic properties of time. It not only gives us the ability to conjure up a past experience at will, but to reflect on those thoughts through autonoetic consciousness — the sense that we have of ourselves as existing across time — allowing us to re-experience a situation mentally and to step outside those memories to consider their accuracy.

Maria Popova's superb blog is:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

barriers exist

Various barriers to free expression and privacy have been much in the news, but those barriers often do not apply to me in my every day world. However, barriers exist.

I am truly struggling in a new phase of my poetry to explore some difficult times in my life. Those times are an essential, but mostly an unexpressed part of who I am today. It seems imperative to bring those times openly into my creative process.

But, I have become so aware of my barriers to writing honestly, and even to remembering. The barriers once seemed, or were, essential for self protection in society, relationships, work and ultimately my own self image. Because of change and aging, they are no longer relevant. The question today seems to be, can I remove these fences that block my reach? 

Are they unmovable or a matter of changing perspective?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the humility of sound

Stairs have been so widely written about that I won’t venture to go there. Using the metaphor of the staircase for life’s journey, the spiritual path or even about education has been over-used. But, the blue at night of this particular stairway…which no longer goes anywhere…reminded me of a poem that I do love. (much abbreviated here)

The Blue Stairs
     by Barbara Guest

There is no fear
in taking the first step
or the second or the third

In fact the top can be reached
without disaster


The code consists in noticing
the particular shade of the staircase
occasionally giving way to the emotions

It has been chosen discriminately

*  *  *  *

It has discovered
in the creak of a footstep

the humility of sound 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

merely might have happened

It was one of those unplanned excavations into the back of a closet that caused me to think so much about events from long ago (the 60’s) and how I I remember it now. This photo certainly doesn’t look like the “me” that most people know, yet I somehow don’t think of the years as having quite the external change that has occurred. I love this quote:

I always had trouble distinguishing between what happened and what merely might have happened, but I remain unconvinced that the distinction, for my purposes, matters.

Joan Didion,

Slouching Towards Bethlehem