I have this book, "poemcrazy" by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. ("This is a wonderful book..." - Anne Lamott on the front cover. What more can I say?) Copyright 1996 - so it's been sitting in my house 12 years, I guess. I haven't read it yet because I love the title and the recommendation, but it turns out it terrifies me. Poems are supposed to be OTHER people opening themselves up to me and revealing their wonderous selves. I love to do the work of listening to others as they reveal themselves. It is sometimes hard work, but that just makes the moment of illumination brighter.
What I failed to pay attention to on the front cover is the red box (red for danger?) which says "freeing your life with words". MY life! This book has assignments. This book is about Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge teaching me to illuminate myself through my own poems! My Stars and Garters!
Yes, she opens herself up and it is delightful. She is a compelling, creative, forceful, enchanting human being. But then she wants me to... write things.
So this morning I picked it up again and started at the back - something I do when I'm scared of a book. Chapter 56: Sometimes, if things aren't going to fall apart, we have to take them apart. This may be what's heaped in a closet or it may be the way we've been living our lives. Our culture doesn't see the value of this occurrence. When crisis or collapse is happening, it's almost impossible to recognize the unraveling, much less the honor of it. It can feel like being bumped backwards out of control downhill into chaos as we level the old to break out of what binds us and create something new and free. If we had a name for this process, maybe we could see it differently and recognize the forward motion despite all appearances."
I have been in free fall since my father's murder. Maybe longer ago than that. Maybe it is time to spread my wings and learn to fly. For my birthday, I am spending two nights at "Heartland Spa" to learn to knit exercise, nutrition, meditation and self care into a new lifestyle. I need to unravel almost 100 pounds before I can fly. It is more than body fat - it is almost 100 pounds of stress and pain and things I don't want to explore.
Sometime in the next few weeks we will purchase our first home. I am deliberately rewriting the rules of my marriage once again. I think Charley and I are far too interconnected to ever divorce, but we are not happy and I have always wanted a happy marriage and do not see why we can't have one. So I'm changing it.
Maybe it is time to read this book.
The other book I'm reading (one of the other books) is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. I'm carrying it around with me in my knitting bag. I am not making any of the projects in it, I am actually making two other projects: One of them is a hand dyed lace shawl from Lorna's Lace and the second is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket in a Paton's silk/bamboo blend for my granddaughter, Zora. But reading the almanac is so wonderful. She shares so much wisdom about knitting and, if you are a knitter, it flows into life so neatly. For the same reason I bought Ruth Page's Gardening Journal. But I don't think I'll start that until we pick the house and I have an actual garden!