Life in the mills

Maybe I’ll take a bath. My legs are beat up, I ran into river rocks, a mountain under black water. I’m covered in bruises. “MY WRITING IS MY WRITING IS MY WRITING IS MY WRITING,” Sylvia says to herself, but I feel to me. Why am I looking so far outside of me? I keep waiting by the door for answers, a letter, mail, a fucking flashlight, approval.
Self-doubt is good for being the critic, when it can work with you, it’s the best frenimy you’ll ever have. But I need bits of self-doubt, bits of confidence. I need to be inside success and outside success. I can’t even spell right now.
Earlier today I kept saying, “I’ll take the week off. Just take the week off from the blog. Disconnect.” But here I am again.
I’ve been in and out of a poem today. Taking deep breaths, diving back in. I keep listening to that damn Ben Sollee song and it makes me cry after the 18th time. It makes me feel so home that I miss home.
I’ve realized I haven’t ever felt home here and 4 years of being a visitor takes its toll. There have been glimmers – looking out at the hills and feeling cradled. The doves in the morning, the mist. But the West holds such possibility and stepping into Montana, I held my heart up and cast her out, breathing. She found a good current. Lately, it’s felt I’m always swimming upstream – fighting water and pressures.
What a great lie whoever said your late 20s are the best years of your life. No one ever mentioned the rediscovery of yourself. No one ever mentioned the battles, anxieties, constant rebuilding. Do I let the bricks fall and start again with the plumbing?
I’ve been closed down. Bitter and closed-down. Once when I was younger I was afraid if I fixed all my issues with my father I’d have nothing to write about, no painful center to drive the art. Art isn’t all pain – so much is about love, about making love from pain. I don’t always need to dip into the past – life itself keeps the well full.
But I am struggling with the cocktail – enough criticism, enough love, enough pain, enough faith. This is a hard fucking job some days.  I need to remember, always remember the beauty I find in it.
Pat wants to make a lemon meringue pie. I’m completely overjoyed. He said “I want to make the best in the land” because he loves lemon meringue pie so much that when I’m gone on a trip he buys one  for himself. He can eat one pie in two days. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
And I want to make poems. I’m completely overjoyed and terrified. I say, “I want to make the best poems I can” because I love playing with words so much that when I dive into them they are the hardest, most honest, challenging thing I’ve ever done.

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