This piece is the result of several things that suddenly connected and resulted in the writing. I was spending my time sorting through all of the poetry I had written for years but never organized. It was a pretty daunting experience, going through pages of material, deciding what to keep and then transferring it onto a flash disc and into file folders.
I was also engaged in writing a poem a day. It was the first thing I did when I got up in the morning. Sometimes it came quite easily, as this one did. Other times it took hours. I was still teaching, at the time. Had a small writing group that met in my home on a weekly basis. They would come and I would have exercises to do and we would spend a couple of hours working through the exercises, then have a snack and everyone would go home.
On this particular night, I brought out a deck of Tarot cards. I often used them in my writing classes as a beginning point for self-exploration. The symbolism within the cards is universal and links back to the development of the human psyche, much as mythology does. As I have said in the past, I often participated in the classroom exercises and this night was no different. I pulled the Hermit card, sometimes called the Guide.
We wrote for about fifteen minutes on what the figure in the card meant to us at this point of our existence. I wrote in prose form and didn’t much care for what came out. The next morning as I sat to write my daily poem, the first line I had written, the night before, came swiftly to the surface. The rest of the poem came quite readily after that. It has never been published, but one of the reasons I like it is because it made my Mother laugh out loud when she read it. She said it is so much ‘me’, especially the sassiness at the end. So I smile when I read it, remembering.
Haven’t always been
this hermit, roaming
through rooms of house
in soft lounging pants
and old T-shirt.
Unraveling other moments,
other lives, imprinting them
on flash disc someone
gave me for my bithday.
Brailing papered past,
’til now kept haphazard
in trash-like piles for lack
of time and energy.
Keeping myself company
with whispers of encouragement,
sometimes laughing out loud,
or stumbling to stillness
of not quite mellowed sorrow.
If anyone should ask
what I am about, will
tell them, “am creating
a legacy for all of those
who ever wished I could
Elizabeth Crawford 4/17/07
This is the first time I have visited your blog – and there seems so much to comment on within this one post.
A poem a day . . . it strikes me both as an impossibility and an ordeal.
The poem – I know it will sound impertinent . . . but it could describe me too . . . and that makes me smile.
I used to be very much a chatterbox, a talker, a member of groups . . . and now, I hardly ever leave the house. I think this probably isn’t healthy in the long term but I think there will be many people who are glad that I have ‘shut-up’. (I’m very opinionated!)
But I am very happy. The life in my head and through my writing keeps me enormous company. The people I write about are sometimes better company than ‘real’ people because I can turn them on and off at will!
And I live in old clothes. And slouch around . . .
HUGH AND CAMELLIA
Thank you so much for visiting, reading, and commenting. It is intensely gratifying to hear you say all of this. Although the poem was written almost two years ago, my personal life hasn’t changed all that much. I still write every day (just not poetry everyday), still wear old clothes, and spend a great deal of time alone. And I am content that way.
As far as a poem a day goes, I’ve slowed that down a bit, lol. It’s an incredible exercise and far from an ordeal. Sounds like you write fiction. That would be a major difficulty for me, so I salute you with respect. Hope you come back and drop more words here. I really enjoy conversing with individuals of like mind.