NaBloPoMo, Day 12--Some Reflection
I was going to bag posting tonight. It's been a busy few days with my parents visiting and I am out of the poem-ing habit. I was thinking this evening, while taking my son on a bike ride--well, he was riding, I was strolling through the leaves on my own two feet--that a poet really needs solitude.
I was thinking of some great lines as I followed my son. We saw literally hundreds of birds, starlings or grackles, with a few crows thrown in for good measure. They just kept coming and coming. It was as close to solitude as i've gotten in the past few days. Walking alone while my son zoomed around an empty school parking lot. He was happy. I was happy. My daughter was happy playing back at the house with my mother. Bliss for all.
But I didn't have a pen. I am out of the writing habit. And so soon. For me, I have to sort of give up the writer life when we have company. i can't go off and write, or go off and just think when my family is around. I have the writer me and the daughter me. Thus, I wonder, how do the other poets go about it? For surely Naomi Shihab Nye and Julia Alvarez have family. Mary Oliver must entertain. Do these women, daughters all, mothers most, continue their daily writing practice when family is around?
I write when I am visiting my parents. Granted, it is much easier to be inspired whn I am at the lake in the Adirondacks. Still, one of my goals as a poet is to write down the stories of my life, as well as to capture the universal of family and parent and child. And here I am in the thick of it, and no writing. Hopefully it will stick with me.
It is also possible that my quiet nights spent on thelaptop in my room are hindered because my son is sleeping on the floor in here. Tonight I braved turning on a little light and a little quiet key-tapping.
How do the rest of you do it, fellow writers with extended family? Even nuclear, day-to-day family. It is not easy to be a writer among the people. Even though among the people is exactly where you need to be to be a good writer. No great writer, poet or otherwise, can write in pure solitude.