Why Morning Pages

For Sunday Whirl: Wordle #8

Why Morning Pages

Both treasure and trash. Trick
lies within sorting of this
from that. Strange kinship,

this marriage of words to paper.
No really enchanting stories,
or even promising bold wish

to be alluring. Some days, no more
than mutilated, mangled torsos
of poor poems rejected like this.

Bits, pieces of things seeking certain
completion, needing deeper sleep,
or inspiring bloom of delicate

lotus-like petals unfolding to be more
than devious plot with subtle desire
for enduring attraction, immortality.

Yet, continue to follow beckoning
carrot, constantly whispered chant,

“Maybe tomorrow.”

Elizabeth Crawford  6/12/11

Notes: Thirty years of daily journals, one page at a time. And many mornings when I whisper, “What the hell am I doing this for?” For whatever reason the wordle words turned in that direction as soon as I read them. And this morning’s page has the beginnings of this poem written on it. And that answers the question of Why? Thank you Brenda for the weekly puzzle and wish you all the best at your new site.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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13 Responses to Why Morning Pages

  1. Lovely, and deeply reflective, as always, Elizabeth. I love reading your words!

    Thanks so much Sherry. You are always so supportive, my dear friend,



  2. brenda w says:

    This is powerful description of writing as process, Elizabeth. I always tell my students that writing is a process, put things away, let them fester…bring them out again later. Nothing is ever really finished. You say it with such lovely lilt and flow. Beautiful piece, I feel the angst, and love the product.

    Brenda, the angst will probably never die, lol. And it is always aimed at the journal writing, when I know, in all reality, that the journal writing is the absolute foundation for all the rest. I used to tell my students repeatedly, write first then edit. That’s the only way to get below the surface. Thanks for understanding,



  3. Elizabeth, your writing on a daily basis has certainly paid off with this piece.


    Pamela, I think it’s interesting how much we hate loving what we do, lol. Perhaps that’s why every time I hear myself cursing those morning pages, I start laughing out loud at my chosen short sightedness. Thanks for all of your kind words,



  4. Irene says:

    Elizabeth you describe the daily writing well. I want to write daily so I can identify with the feeling. The lotus flower is a wonderful image for the process.

    Irene, for me my morning pages are that first line. I’m taking out the trash carried over from yesterday. Taking it out and setting it on the curb. Clearing the air and my thought passages. When that is done, I can write. The treasures are there, beneath the trash. Many times, I can see them glinting at me from the bottom of that heaping mound. Nothing to do but dig. And yes, I agree that the lotus was a wonderful way to describe it. Thank you.



  5. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I think that among all of our writing there is both ‘treasure’ and ‘trash’ and perhaps we will not discern the difference foer a while. It is better, imho, to write whatever comes than to try yo prejudge one’s words and preserve nothing. Your daily writing HAS paid off. And your words ARE your immortality.

    Mary, thank you very much. When I started keeping my journal, I felt somewhat driven to do so for several reasons. But, I stayed with it because I saw something happening to me and to the way that I wrote. I have always thought of my journal pages as ‘practice”, not meant to be read by others, and definitely a means of digging deeper. Soil is often hard packed and dry at the surface, but the deeper one digs, the richer and moister the ground becomes. Although, I know these things, and believe them whole-heartedly, there are always those days when I just don’t “feel” like doing it. The fact that I do it anyway says more than those temporary moments of angst. And then there are the wordle words to contend with.

    I love what you did with them and you are absolutely correct. All of our writing is practice and some of it is truly inspired with beautiful nuggets of knowing. Thanks for the words about my immortality, though I rather doubt any of us will care when we are no longer here, lol.



  6. pmwanken says:

    Elizabeth ~
    I like how you said the words only wanted to go one way….I found the same to be true. I read the words early today, and had a thought in mind about what I was going to write…then when I finally sat down to write, something entirely different showed up on the page! (Here it is: Inspiring Dreams) And I echo the others…your commitment to writing has definitely paid off. Well done.

    Thank you Paula, I gave up long ago trying to make the words go where I might choose. Far better to just listen, follow, and let them lead. It can become very tiring otherwise.



  7. Susannah says:

    Such a wonderful insight into your process. With my creative process (both images and words) I try to ‘let the tap flow’ sometimes some gunk has to clear out from the pipes until the fresh clear water flows. 🙂 The issue is to stop my self censoring, judging what comes, honouring all as valid. What I do with it afterwards is a different matter. lol

    I really enjoyed this piece it has a depth and strange feeling of sureness, like a tree planted with deep roots and thoughts that are fluttering like birds in the branches. (sorry I don’t know where that came from! ;-))

    I found this wordle quite challenging, but I have only just realised that I don’t HAVE to use all the words, I will bear that in mind next week.

    Susannah, I am a nature person so the idea of a tree with birds in my hair, singing sounds both fanciful and fitting. I used to tell my students, the whole idea of writing is to write. Do that first, then the next step is editing. They truly are two different processes. And btw, I find every wordle challenging, which may very well be the reason for the angst in this response, lol.



  8. Sometimes it is dark when we discover the path just ends, but we continue.

    Yes, Annell, we do. It is about letting go, yet holding on. A dance my friend,



  9. Mama Zen says:

    I love that first line. Says it all, I think.

    True Mama Zen, maybe some day I’ll learn to be concise. Some of us learn very slowly,



  10. Traci B says:

    I enjoyed and completely relate to your poem and your process notes. I started doing morning pages a few months back, and I must admit mine are more an ordering of thoughts and plans for the day than any kind of literary endeavor. Still, your poem definitely reminds me of my own writing process – sit down, brain dump into journal or computer, and then sort out the flowers from the fertilizer. 😉

    Traci, mine are much the same as yours, but there are seeds there that sometimes grow wonderful exotic lotus blossoms. Thank you,



  11. margo roby says:

    Such an articulate expression of that which, I suspect, many of us encounter in writing. I envy those who write easily, but I don’t think I would give up my struggle with each poem. It;s in the struggle that the real poem appears if there is to be one. Thank you for this, Elizabeth.


    Thank you Margo. It really is all practice, and one of the reasons I started doing morning pages was in the hopes that some day I would/could be someone who writes with ease. I’m still practicing, lol.



  12. Mr. Walker says:

    Elizabeth, this is so well written. Only you, with your daily journal writing, could have written this. I lack that discipline. You’ve captured things that I’ve only glimpsed. Thank you for sharing this. I love “petals unfolding to be more / than devious plot”. This really struck a chord with me. I’m not sure that I’m going to attempt a novel this November for NaNoWriMo; I think I want to keep writing poetry, those are my petals that want to be more.


    Richard, outside of those daily pages, I am not a disciplined individual. Thank you for your kind and generous words. I have often thought of writing a novel, or a book about certain subjects. Poetry always seems to get in the way of that, raising its head right there in the middle of a page of prose. And somehow I never get back to that particular page. We each and everyone of us has a niche, that place where we do bloom. I’m glad that you found yours in this moment,



  13. Mike Patrick says:

    It takes time to understand that some word demand to be written. To try to direct their flow is an exercise in futility. Only in the editing process is there any control at all. The nice thing is when something wonderful and unexpected happens. This is such a write.

    Thank you Mike. After this many years, there is a very real satisfaction in each single page finished. It makes no difference how much angst I feel while doing it, hearing the printer kick into action, really feels good. And you are right, there really are some surprises buried in those pages.



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