It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for The Insecure Writers! The IWSG is an online group created by Alex J. Cavanaugh for writers. You, too, can join us anytime!
Hey, IWSG-ers and other visitors! There's a very cool, very special IWSG theme today. The creators of the group are putting together a free ebook anthology called "The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond," and the posts that many of us put up today will be included in that anthology. You can learn about it here and submit your own post for it here.
I...am not writing anything for the anthology. I know, I know, big lead up for a big let down! But the idea is so great that I had to share it. So go on, go check it out and then come back and read my non-IWSG-anthology-IWSG post.
All done? Pretty cool, right??
Anyway, not to worry, I might not be creating a piece for the anthology, but I have plenty of insecurity to share!!
But I'm going to restrain myself today, and share some inspiration instead. I've been devouring Cheryl Strayed's work these past few weeks. If you haven't read Wild, her best-selling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, go read it!! AND while you're at it, read Tiny Beautiful Things, which is a collection of her Rumpus.net Dear Sugar advice columns, and which is so much more beautiful and inspiring and heart-breaking and vulnerable and funny and real than any advice column, ever. I had no idea I'd like it so much, but I've read it once through, tears spilling down my face the whole time, and as soon as I finished it I went back to the beginning and started reading it again. So.
That's not the inspiration I wanted to share, though. I mentioned Strayed because in Wild, she talks about the book The Dream of a Common Language. It's a collection of poetry by Adrienne Rich, who I discovered in college and who I knew, in the way of all egotistical, self-centered eighteen-year-olds, was writing those poems just for me. I haven't read her poetry in years, but the reminder in Wild made me pick up Rich's work and dive back into it, and I'm discovering all over again why I fell in love with it in the first place.
I wanted to share a few lines here, in part for their bare beauty, but mostly because I hope they'll inspire you the way that they inspired me:
From the poem Miracle Ice Cream in the book Dark Fields of the Republic:
"Miracle's truck comes down the little avenue,
Scott Joplin ragtime strewn behind it like pearls,
and, yes, you can feel happy
with one piece of your heart."
From the poem One: Comrade, also from Dark Fields of the Republic:
"Little as I knew you I know you: little as you knew me you
- that's the light we stand under when we meet."
And finally, the poem #9 in the section Calle Vision in Dark Fields of the Republic:
"In the black net
of her orange wing
the angry nightblown butterfly
hangs on a piece of lilac in the sun
carried overland like her
from a long way off
She has traveled hard and far
and her interrogation goes:
-Hands dripping with wet earth
head full of shocking dreams
O what have you buried all these years?
What have you dug up?
This place is alive with the dead and with the living
I have never been alone here
I wear my triple eye as I walk along the road
past, present, future all are at my side
Storm-beaten, tough-winged passenger
there is nothing I have buried that can die"
If you liked these, go read the whole book, and then all of her books. Really.
What's inspiring you these days?