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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Art of This and That

Here's the dilemma. July is the month I set aside for creative work. I know, I'm supposed to be writing every day, and I do, but it's not always so creative. But July, mid-summer, poised between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next, laden with only one holiday that has no family expectations associated with it, most of the weddings and graduations over, friends in general are planning and executing vacations--July should be a great chunk of potentially focused time.

Should be. Invariably however I have a little side list going comprised of related projects--submissions, workshop proposals, unanswered emails, cleaning up the office--that I feel I must get through first. "I'll do this first and get it out of the way," is my rationale, "and then I'll be able to focus on that." I'll knock out a few hovering responsibilities, "this and this," always so pressing, and clear the way for unencumbered creative floooooow, the that.

What I've discovered is the only things that get done are the "thises." This is what's at hand. That is forever at a distance. I will always check off this item and this item from my list; as long as something remains that, it never gains the imperative required to become this thing I am doing. It remains that thing which I want to do after I get done with this.

This is not hyperbolic high-jinks. This is all there is. This is all I have. I will never have that. So the trick is, the dilemma, the necessity is I must do this now, this writing, this thinking, this composing. Then I'll get to that other stuff.


  1. For a split second I thought you were channeling Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog's 'Ain't Nothin' but a G Thang'...with it's classic refrain:

    "It's like this and like that and like this and uh"

    Peace out,

  2. hm. I'll think on the "uh." Could be an essential missing ingredient. I'd try anything, frankly.

  3. I think the uh is the solution -- somewhere between the this and that.

    (Sally, happy to find you! It's Elizabeth from Slow Food.)

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