blogging about blogging, and when not to follow advice
You may be reading this post shortly after it was written, following the sequence of my postings, or you may be reading it at any given time (probably, but not necessarily, subsequent to my writing it). Blog posts straddle a crossroads of the immediately relevant and the timeless treasure. Emphasizing the “timeless treasure” aspect, advice to blog writers often counsels against meta-discussion of situational or sequential issues--it draws too much overt attention to something that will likely be irrelevant two weeks from now.
It’s good advice, but since when have I followed advice 100% of the time? So yes, this is a post about what this blog is for and what to expect from it. The short version: I remain E-la-stic, but there is a rhythm to my blogging.
sending words out into the world
An essay by Ela Harrison titled "My Heart Lies in the Choice Between "The Fleet" and "All the Ships"" appears in the current (Winter 2015) edition of The Georgia Review. Harrison's previous publications have included poetry, book reviews, nutrition and food writing, blogging, and academic writing and translations. This is her first extended essay to see publication.
And what a prestigious venue for publication! Prestigious, yes, but also exquisitely apt, both for the essay and for the writer, as you'll see. Likewise, an apt subject for the first post of 2016 on this blog, with its recurrent preoccupations about words, time, and transition.
white is black's black
Every term implies its opposite. Which is why the theory of positive affirmations, the assertion that the subconscious never hears "no" and so you must use positive language, is oversimplified. Rich contains the imagining of poor; lose contains the imagining of gain (and vice versa); always contains the imagining of fleeting.
And so it isn't surprising that having just been writing about surrender, when Black Friday rolled around all I could think about was white flags.
on dream jobs and the ocean of possibility
A couple of weeks ago I learned that what I had considered a dream job--an assistant editorship at The Georgia Review, where I had the honor and delight to intern a couple years ago--had come up, been advertised, and been filled. And I hadn't been paying attention in the appropriate direction and had known nothing about it.
The very next day, a friend forwarded me a link advertising that the Tree of Life health retreat center is hiring for a raw chef. Cheffing at "The Tree" was another of my dream jobs. And I'm not even thinking of applying--now is not remotely the time, and now is the only time.
What does this say about the quality of my "dreams" when it comes to jobs?
in which I compare myself to a fridge in hot weather
High heat is here. High, dry heat.
Elsewhere, gardeners favor raised beds. Here, contrariwise, we sink them. Cooler, shadier, hold moisture better. I take sacks with me into the river wash and bring home plant debris, horse poop, bat poop, as mulch that is also shade.
What's alive so easily parches to death; what's already dead doesn't compost because it's just too dry. I love heat, but when it's so high above my body temperature, it makes me wonder if there is after all a "too hot."
"the role of the artist is to ask questions"
I've been thinking and writing about practice, transition, and inward listening, at the same time looking for my own place as a contributor, a listener, an artist.
I'm drawing a lot of blanks. Or is it just that I'm surrounded with blank canvases, fields and arenas and spheres of potential?
That is a question. But asking it doesn't make me an artist all by itself. Have I been around the block too many times to say "I have to start somewhere"? I don't think so. That we begin again and begin again and always begin again holds the status of "belief" for me as little else does.
private confessions, public confidence
A keystone principle of my work as an editor is confidentiality. I believe this is crucial, whether we're working on a poetry collection or an academic thesis, a science book or a cookbook.
No matter the subject matter or genre, my client is pouring heart and soul into the project. If I'm to help him or her produce their best possible work, the art that's in truest harmony with their creative impulse, s/he must be comfortable confiding in me, confessing to me, trusting me with sh*tty first drafts and skeletons in the closet.
Ad here's the paradox: confidentiality gives birth to confidence!