Time always disappears on us, and instead of it slowing down as we get more of it under our belts…it gallops on ahead cruelly reminding us that the better we get an appreciation for whatever it is we’re here for, the quicker it slips away – “The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne…” Geoffrey Chaucer says. My reaction to this is a bizarre tendency to leave projects I feel most attached to, unfinished. For some reason I resist the idea of putting that poem or story into the stream of time which will make it real and vulnerable to all the things time does, including having it/us disappear…so the poem, story, creative ‘thing’, stays a fantasy I go back to, daydream about, and trick myself into believing that “one day…” …like the perfect love…what a trap! Since I think every time we do let the poem, story, essay, ‘perfect love’, become, it decides to be its own thing, turns into whatever time will make of it. Like the Acropolis in its stark grandeur, the white marble columns & friezes eaten by time (and several wars) — so different from the bold reds and blues and golds of its original incarnation that were pretty kitsch.
So here it is the end of my blogging week & I thought I’d continue what seems to be turning into a hen blog tradition of signing off with a prompt, Amy and Ching-In had great writing prompts I hope everyone got a chance to try. I’m going to connect this idea of abandoned projects (poetry lines or fragments…ruins) with an exercise. Are there (there must be!) things you’ve left unfinished…find them, or some parts of them, choose a favorite line from a poem that’s not the first line, a paragraph that’s not the first paragraph, take a leap of faith — start “something” with it (not necessarily the poem/story/project you had in mind), and follow it through as it becomes whatever it chooses to be…the novella you were sure you would never write, convinced your beginning stanza was the start of an epic poem.
The Greek poet Yannis Ritsos tells us in “Mode of Acquisition”:
Whatever you hold in your hands
So carefully, with so much love,
You must give it away
In order for it to become yours
(from Ritsos in Parentheses, Trans. Edmund Keeley)
Here are some of my out of the context lines: “Can we forget what was stolen?”; “The sea so filled with August”; “I could write him a long letter of hurt”; “Everywhere you dig in Athens you find marble remains”