Thursday, January 10, 2013

midnight thirty

It's 12:30 in the a.m. and I should be sleeping. Class comes early and it's Con(stitutional) Law. But sometimes I ache for writing. As interesting as law can be, I still don't think of it as "real" writing. This, on the other hand. . . and so a few thoughts. (Very few. There is still Con Law to think on.)

I was heartbroken after Thanksgiving, and I have this blog to prove it. I was bracing myself for the same feelings after Christmas and New Years and instead. . . I'm fine. Not fine fine, but fine. And happy. I spent a lot of time with my youngest sister. M is 12 years younger than me, which means she was 6 when I went to college. I missed out on a lot of her growing up, but in recent years we've been thrown together due to our mutual singleness. That was especially true this Christmas, when it was just the two of us and the parents on Christmas morning. M is 18 and beautiful and brilliant and talented and good. So good. It's kind of ridiculous. And I realized that if I weren't single, I wouldn't have this time with her, to get to know her as an adult (or almost adult). If she comes to BYU next year, I will have been at this university with all four of my siblings. It almost makes the 10 years of graduate degrees worth it.


I have been thinking poetry lately. At the end of last semester, the very end, after the last final, I went to lunch with some guys in my class who I call the Boys Club and others call the Careers (after the Hunger Games). A few of them are my favorite people in my class, and one of these favorite people asked me, as we were eating, if I was going to write over the break. I said I hoped I would. He asked what I would write, and I said poetry without thinking about it. Because that's what I write when I write. And he asked why, with a tone that suggested that I should have abandoned such practices now that I'm in law school writing serious things.

There is nothing more serious than poetry. Or I should say, poetry when it wants to be serious. I'm not sure what to write about right now, but I hold on to an answer that Kim Johnson gave one of my creative writing students (I had students, I was a teacher, I hope that isn't all past tense) when they asked about writer's block. She said that thinking and collecting is part of the writing process. I know at some point, I'll have to push myself back to the writing and the argument, but part of me knows that right now, I'm collecting. 30 poems before 30 is still my goal. I hope it happens.


Here is what I keep thinking: I am in awe of the generosity of poets [and writers]. I am so grateful for every book I own, every poem I read, every word I get to experience in a new way. I think of workshops and late nights discussing everything and I think about how much we give each other in those moments. Readings where it could have just been the poet and me, even though I had tucked myself back into a dark corner to avoid the drinks precariously set on the dark table. I could just breathe in and the world would fill with words. I miss those days. Even when I read, I miss those days. I want a world where everyone is that generous--I act in that spirit sometimes at the law school and I get looks that telling me I am forgetting myself. I want to tell them that I am finding myself, remembering who I was not very long ago. That I was a writer and maybe I still am.

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