NaPoWriMo, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo Day One: What to Do With An Uninvited Guest Named Doubt

Here it is again… April! That means National/Global Poetry Writing Month.  National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo as it loving refers to itself) is a national and now global movement that encourages poets and anyone that wants to actually, to write a poem every day in the month of April.  There are no rules (blog it, don’t blog it, share it don’t share it, write every day, or don’t… just try it on and see how it feels)  but some structure and resources are available for you to use if you need a push to get those line-writing wheels turning.  New prompts,  featured poets, and resources are available every day from NaPoWriMo. In the past I’ve both written on my own and used the daily prompts.  I’ve found that although they may feel clunky or silly or weird at first, the daily prompts can really help you think in a new way and help you construct some really nice lines.

If you’re curious about what I’ve written in past years, all my National Poetry Writing Month poems have been archived with the tag, “NaPoWriMo”.  Sometimes the year is included.

Day one’s prompt was to write a poem using instructions.  So here it is!


What to Do with An Uninvited  Guest Named Doubt

Open the door when you hear it knocking—you can let it in

Greet it with an open smile, like:

“Why hello doubt, I wasn’t expecting you”–but maybe you were

Thank doubt for dropping by

Don’t lose your cool, you’ve been interrupted by doubt before

Ask doubt how it’s been, where it’s going

Fully listen to doubt’s answers

Offer it a seat on the couch, maybe something to drink

Sit with doubt awhile

Watch doubt drink it’s drink—

Happily, with one leg slung over the other—casually and crossed

—assured—confident—doubt’s been to your house before

Keep calm, courteous even

But when the time is right, and you’ll know when that time is—

–Usually when doubt starts asking the questions

That’s your cue to stand up and say,

“Okay doubt, thanks for stopping by”

Take doubt’s empty cup, with a smile

Show it through the door, and watch it walk away


awakening, creative non-fiction, Growth, Heartbreak, Personal Experiences

Opera: Not Just About Fat Ladies Singing and Stuffy Librettos

Opera is not just about viking fat ladies singing and stuffy librettos. Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning some aspects are far better than others…. But it’s nothing if not inspiring, far reaching, and interconnected in our culture in ways that are absolutely mind boggling and super, super cool.
For his third episode of “Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera” my friend Marc Eliot Stein let me in on the fun! Take a listen to this delightfully fun and interesting conversation as we dive into Christopher Gluck’s opera “Orphee et Eurydice” and into the Orpheus legend that spans humanity’s timeline including the ancient, and Arcade Fire.
I promise even if you don’t wind up enjoying opera, after listening to this podcast, you WILL find Marc’s content inspiring, infectious, and well researched. His zeal and exuberance for this ancient creative endeavor will inspire you to seek out your own creative life line.  More to come on that (creative life-lines) in the next few months.  Enjoy!
awakening, Kairos, music, Personal Experiences

Many Things In March, Including Casimir Pulaski Day

Ah, March.  Just a few trots into the new year, March for me is the month where seedling plans, thoughts, and impressions of a new cycle are allowed to germinate.  The frenetic pace of holidays and birthdays (all in quick succession), normalizes and a new pace settles in.  In March I can breath, I can think, and I can focus (for the most part) on not just doing and getting through, but actually living in the minutes.   The days begin to steal back their daylight…. There is hope for a thaw, and there are promised baby breaths of spring.

March is national women’s history month, sometimes Easter, sometimes Purim and Passover. We get the ides of March, St. Patrick’s day, and I’m sure all over, gyms luxuriate in the getting of new revenue brought by new memberships.  March is the month that a seventeen year old me saw the other side of the world.  In March of 1994, I went to France with my classmates and came home changed.  But while there, I couldn’t believe the beauty of the landscape of France. It was chilled some days with the wind of early spring.  The hills and brambles were covered and twisted with the brown deadened vines of the previous year, and dusted with infant leaves and buds of the new.  I attributed all of this beauty to France.  What I’ve realized in the years after, is that the beauty I was witnessing did not belong only to France, but belongs to the beauty of spring everywhere, which March ushers in.

March is the month in which just last year I left all I’d ever known of nursing, to pursue a dream that died hard. But soon the ability to dream (in a new way) was realized….was revived.  And last but certainly most obscure, March gives us Casimir Pulaski Day.  Casimir Pulaski Day– a day that honors an obscure a polish war hero– a holiday of which I’d never heard until I heard the song with the same title by Sufjan Stevens.  It (the song) share’s March’s grappling with death and life and transformation and in frozen turn of life, steals back some daylight for itself.  Welcome March, bring us your promises, and your intimacy with the infinite cycle of living.