Reader, I am exultant!

//exultant [ig-zul-tnt]
- adjective
exulting; highly elated; jubilant; triumphant//

The children are in school, and I have been WRITING as if the wolves were at the door (I am stealing this line from Maxine Kumin, who used described a period of her writing life during which she was in a writing group with Anne Sexton and others. I would quote it directly, but I can't find my Complete Anne Sexton because I have more books than bookshelves and they - the books - are everywhere and nowhere all at once).

Two weeks ago I could hardly find five minutes to scrape together for any kind of creative activity, reflection, or even for serious reading.

Two weeks ago, I was tired, frazzled, and, creatively speaking, dead-ended. Nothing I was working on felt exciting or interesting or good. I even thought that maybe I had written all the poems already; maybe there were no more for me to write.

Two weeks ago, I listened to a stage artist describe how she feels when she isn't practicing her art. She said it feels like being lost in the darkest forest and hearing the wolves howling all around. Two weeks ago, listening to this made me cry, because I knew exactly what the woman meant. Except that for me, when I'm not practicing my art, it feels like I am drying out; being blown by the wind which is seething in my ears; being covered, slowly, with sand, disappearing.

But now, I am finding pockets of time for my writing life, and it's exhilarating. Yesterday morning, I decided I would devote an hour to writing while Sister was at preschool. An hour became an hour and a half, though it felt like about ten minutes. I'm lucky I looked at the clock when I did, or I would have been late for pick-up! I drove to preschool thinking about words and poems: Maybe it should be a makeshift bone? Or a borrowed bone? Or both? Where can I write this? Grasping for a pen, paper, not finding any, must pay attention to traffic. I must remember makeshift. I'm imagining it emblazoned on my forehead. Makeshift.

And later, What about the dissolving bones? What about limbs? Dissolving limbs. Sister, help mommy remember: limbs. Will you remind me when we get home? We have to remember limbs! (Which reminds me, I've always wanted to write a post entitled: Don't Write and Drive. Dangerous combination).

And, later, I discovered we're completely out of toilet paper. Completely. Not one scrap. This is what happens when Mommy's writing: Important. Things. Get. Neglected.

But I think it's worth it, because when I'm writing I have energy that I don't have when I'm not writing. Practicing my art makes me a better mom, a better person: more exciting, happier, more interesting and interested, more open, more alive, at peace in the world and in my own skin.

So let this rambling, joyous, bouncing-off-the-walls, exultant post be a reminder to you: Whatever your passion is (writing, painting, knitting, cooking, fishing, music, running, entertaining, sculpture, gardening), make time for it. It will enrich your life and the whole wide world.

P.S. Here is what it looks like when I'm writing. Isn't it messy and wild and gorgeous?? (Just promise me you won't actually read the poems -- they're drafts, drafts I say!).

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