I wrote poetry for years and years. Then I didn’t write anything for years and years.
My brain needed time to recover.
I started writing again, little bits of non-poetry. Dribs and drabs. Here and there. No big deal.
Actually? It was a big deal.
Writing was suddenly really, really difficult. And it made me itchy.
Writing poetry had been like looking at myself under a microscope: distorting, somewhat fascinating, ultimately disorienting. After I stopped, I sometimes saw myself on the far side of a huge field, a shrinking grey smudge. Sometimes I wanted to wave myself away, warn myself to run. Other times I wanted to gesture “come back.”
If you’ve ever planned a drive of significant distance, say, Annapolis to Phoenix, you probably looked at a map and considered the places you’d like to see. And then you imagined those cities and towns, maybe picturing the touristy attractions, or people you’d visit, or perhaps you salivated at the thought of gobbling delicious food. Sky, highway, gas stations, cacti. Regardless of how carefully (or not) you planned your journey, you would always find a multitude of surprises (good and bad). There was no way your imagining of so many miles was accurate.
When I’m not writing, I’m that map-gazer. I can pretend to know exactly what I’d be writing. However, what actually gets written when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is never the same as the draft that had existed in my mind.
I’m finding my way, creating my map as I go.