“Finally!!!!” she wrote, exhilarated, exhausted and expectant as she pushed the ‘Send’ button. Six weeks of nose-to-the-screen gathering, ordering, cohering three-plus years’ worth of writings from the incarcerated women with whom she writes weekly; gathering permissions from said women now scattered far and wide; photographing, copying, placing their exquisite artwork strategically throughout the manuscript; writing, editing, rewriting introductions, notes, bio’s; flurries of emails between partner Marybeth Redmond and editor Mike Leach at Orbis Books, in impressive volleys of call and response . . . all leading to this ‘finally’ moment. The deed done. The button pushed. The deadline met. “Hear Me, See Me: incarcerated women write” has been birthed.
Finally she wrote!!! After weeks sequestered with screen and syntax, her itchy fingers once more take to the keyboard on her own behalf . . .
Six weeks of watching singular scenes lined up and waiting for recognition. A winter flock of plump russet-headed otherwise brownish birds circling like a cyclone at the feeder after a 14” snowfall – their visit perhaps 10 minutes of frantic foraging, ten to the narrow thistle seed feeder, clumps along the lighted balsam bows gracing the deck rail and others challenging one another to morsels fallen during the previous evening’s refill.
My dog muzzled against her winter sport of random noshing frozen goods, burrowing beneath rapidly warming snow and coming up the lost unicorn, her curved white profile rising to mythic proportions in the bare-branched woods. Me trying to take artsy snow-photos to capture the glint of sun on ice-coated branches, when I couldn’t actually see for the glare.
Moving my home studio from third to first floor, finally consolidating boxes from three different closets on as many floors, my desk, professional and personal files, and all art supplies. Moving around my writing studio to accommodate a Tuesday evening group of 16 women eager to explore their lives and deepest questions through written words.
The holidays, come and gone in a blur of baking deliciousness and still more delightful cuddles with my long-since-grown kids. L-o-n-g car ride down I-89 through blinding snow with zero visibility at 20 mph trying to make the season’s final performance of the Boston “Revels.” Driving back up I-89 late, late at night having stopped to visit and share a meal with family; sharing the drive, stories and laughter with my adult son. Intense life-altering conversations about things that cannot be changed while probing the tender edges of those that can.
Receiving Minerva Rising’s winter-themed second issue with three of my poems included. Experiments knitting beaded scarves. Connecting with long-time friends. Homemade dark chocolate sea-salt caramels; candles throughout the house, warmly flickering our deep connections and love; the annual linzertorte and stollen. And did I mention the tamales?!!!
Silent-to-this-page these past six weeks, perhaps. I return, original intention intact: to post three times per week exploring the landscapes of my life. My poetry. Musings on women’s wisdom gleaned from my work in the world. Thought-provoking forays into the conscious feminine. And finally (!) – as always – I welcome your engagement in dialogue.