Did I really skip last week's Confession Tuesday post? I did. I was just returning from my writing residency and things went flippy from that point on.
I'll get into it and maybe confess for each week, so you can see what I've been up to--
To the confessional (Part 1):
I confess when I'm at a writing residency everything I write seems incredible. I feel almost in a sort of genius state, incredibly inspired and finding connections in my poems, almost writing from a higher level.
My manuscript, my poems, images. I move into this weird state where I am so focused on my manuscript and writing, it begins to feel as if I'm some sort of surreal dream where words drip over rocks, melt over the bedsheets.
It's an amazing place (my imagination and writing). In this strange reality, I am so happy with what I've written. My critical voice must stay home and sleep because when I'm away and writing, I do not hear her.
Yes, I'm editing, revising, and not just writing rose are red verse, but there's a kindness to myself and my work that I don't always feel for when I'm in the real world. And every single time when I'm there I think "how do I keep this state of mind, this place when I return" -- and each time I return, I only keep the feeling for a few days (this last time, only a few hours--and then it's gone).
I confess on the first night of the residency I had a dream where Andy Warhol told me to write something down and I didn't and I wished I did because I can't remember what he said.
Gertrude Stein was also in that same dream.
If someone dead comes into your dream and tells you write something down-- do it!
I confess the first day of all my writing residencies revolves around me napping.
I arrived on a Tuesday and was in bed by 9 pm. The next morning I woke up at 7. At about 10, I had to lay down for 20 minutes. By 11:30, I had worked again on a poem and needed a nap. I slept for 2 hours. Woke up, worked on a title for a poem and then napped for another 1/2 hour. At about 4, I took another 15 minute rest.
We had dinner around 5 and I got a bit of my second wind, but was asleep by 9.
I confess I actually had one of the other writers make a note on our list of things to bring that "Kelli sleeps most of day one and she is not to get freaked out by this" because each time I go on a residency I freak out about how tired I am and worry I'm not going to get anything accomplished because I'm so tired.
We decided there is a "let down" period when you arrive at a residency and you need to let your body decide when you eat and sleep and listen to it.
I confess I wanted to find out more information on the artist Cindy Sherman, so I downloaded the documentary Guest of Cindy Sherman on iTunes.
And since there is no wi-fi in our apartment/writing studio, I had to go to the commons area. The download took 7 hours! I was so tired of writing down there (and hungry) that I hid my iPad and just went back to our apartment to wait it out.
There was a sick feeling I had when I imagined going back to the commons and finding my iPad missing. But when I returned a few hours later, it was there and the movie was downloaded.
The movie had less about Cindy Sherman and more about boyfriend, who created the documentary, but was still interesting.
I confess when I returned to my real life, I only had one evening of normal calmness before I woke up to find of our guinea pigs was sick and dying.
I swear, I am the worst when it comes to animals because I hate to see them suffering or ill. I had no idea how much a guinea pig could make me cry. But this is me. I cry over all of our pets that die and in fact, I am the one in the family who takes the longest to get over it.
I confess after that, I kind of just awkwardly transitioned myself into regular life and between crying jags, tried to accomplish things, but mostly just wanted to sit in my bed and watch trashy tv.
I confess at one point I was watching Dance Moms - Miami. Genius one-week, reality TV viewer the next.
I confess today was the first day I was able to listen to NPR. This is a sure sign my retreat mind is gone.
I confess when I looked at my manuscript, I felt insecure-- is this good enough? do I like this opening poem? is this strong work?
I'm not sure what to think. So I'm setting it aside for a few more days before I return to it.
I confess one good thing about life lately has been the weather. I've been trying to go for long walks as I am in a 1/2 marathon in about 3 weeks. I've never done one and only plan on walking it because my motto is-- "if you ever see me running, call the police!" Because I don't run. My body is not built that way, it's built to wander, lollygag, walk and roam. I have nowhere to go in a hurry.
I confess it's been over a week and I'm still inching myself back into my life.
I've had a lot going on since I've returned. Things I hadn't planned and things I guess I kind of forgot about. But I'm here and trying my best to be a normal citizen...well, maybe not normal, but a citizen who holds the door open for people and who waves at babies.
I confess I watched the supermoon, but by the time it got over the evergreens by my house, it was a pretty-good moon.
I confess, mostly, I'm still trying to catch up on email and everything else I let drop for a week.
Life just keeps moving on whether you are here or there or anywhere.
I confess for the last 2 nights, the coyotes have been howling up a storm in my neighborhood, which is incredibly eerie and wakes me from a deep sleep. The other night they sounded as if they were in my yard under my window they were so close.
But I actually enjoyed hearing them and the killdeer and the pheasant who squawks ever morning at around 6 am as it reminded me I was home.