Essays. I have to remember I’m writing essays now.
But I prefer poetry.
Poetry allows me to express feelings without being worried about getting facts right. Or grammar. Or where the hell to start and end paragraphs.
I have no idea where paragraphs should start or end.
Like the idiot I am, I agreed to write essays for National Blog Posting Month, and I have no idea what I’m doing.
Fortunately for me, sweet and supportive people (i.e., other CheerPeppers) subtly help me out. They reprint a bit of an essay I wrote, changing the paragraph structure of what I wrote into what it should have been. When I do a Facebook post, I neglect to tag the people it is about; one of the moderators gently comes in and does it for me.
Essentially, I was raised by wolves and I am now attending tea, but the people here are really nice and don’t comment on my manners.
All through public school, whenever we were asked to do creative writing assignments, I was told, upon completion, that I just was not a writer. This was true in college as well, except for one professor, my Creative Writing teacher, who saw something in my writing no one else saw. Everyone else saw an inchoate mass of undeveloped ideas, poor sentence structure, and dizzying leaps from subject to subject.
They weren’t wrong, it’s just, with poetry, that can work in my favor. With essays, those things detract.
As I’ve mentioned to some people in comments here, I got my love of poetry from my mother. She, however, did not think much of my own efforts in the genre. My mother is not a critical or judgmental person – not at all – but she also was and is not prone to the common maternal habit of feigning enthusiasm, either.
Asking for an honest evaluation about something you’ve created from a loved one can create a significant tension in them between love and truth. They love us, so they want to say things that will make us feel good; however, honesty may impel them to say things that have the opposite effect.
I’ve solved that problem in my own life my never showing anyone who actually knows me in daily life any of my creative efforts*. They don’t need to lie; I don’t need to get my feelings hurt or wonder at their sincerity if they are positive.
It’s not exactly a “win-win”; it’s more like a “what the hell kind of choice is that” thing.
* Other than music.
Some people are analyzers; they take things apart to see if they make sense, examining them from as many angles as they can. I am a synthesizer: everything, to me, is related to everything else, and my mind is constantly trying to unify things into a coherent whole.
Which is crazy, of course. There is a “whole”, but any unity we find is liable to be one we put there.
I tell stories about my life, or the lives of those around me, trying to make sense out of it all. I feel like the story I’m meant to tell is in some way unified. My writing, however, is more like a mosaic than a single thing, with bits of this and that, discrete in themselves, that maybe, when examined from a distance, might form a single picture.
Love is what it is all about, of course. I was a young person in search of love, who wandered in and out of relationships, eventually becoming very ill, depressed, and broken; but, through a series of events having little to do with my own merit, gradually found a better life.
Even though I’m still ill, and most likely, broken.
So. I will continue to write more broken, love-seeking essays that border on poetry in my complete disregard for the rules of structure and paragraphing.
Then go back to live with the wolves.
For Nano Poblano this year, I’m trying a prose post a day instead of my usual work in poetry. Thanks for reading. – S.B.