Thursday, April 20, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Sweet Darkness

It's been a hard, hard time of it...ashamed of myself for being dissatisfied and disappointed with what I thought would fill me up. Going around and around with the same issues. Today I tried to buy progress...tried to make myself feel like a writer by buying books on writing. Not that I need these books, mind you...I have shelves of books on craft, on technique, plotting, characterization...you name it. But I still feel like I need to have some marker that tells me I am moving forward. Small victory that I didn't do so, I suppose.

Anyway, I found this poem in a book I already happen to own. I love the world weary tone, and the delicate glow of optimism. Perhaps faith is most needed when it is hardest to find.

Sweet Darkness
David Whyte
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one things.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Diana said...

That one always gets to me...

9:56 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Cate said...

I'm printing this post. Seriously. Those are words that I need to brand onto the palm of my hand. Thank YOU, for making me feel less alone.

P.S. I never feel like I am moving forward as a writer, either. On good days, I think that this must be par for the course--like, we are too close to ourselves to see subtle changes (I call it the "Damn, My Eyebrows Need Waxed Again Already?" theory--where you don't realize that your eyebrows have grown into caterpillars until one day when you glance in the mirror and you just drop your toothbrush because your eyebrows are horrifying and you can't even imagine where all of the fresh hairs came from because they certainly didn't seem to be there yesterday).

P.P.S. What with my current babysitting gig, I soooooo relate to your world and cannot even imagine how you get any writing done EVER--heaps of admiration, like confetti, coming at you from this end! xo

6:38 AM, April 21, 2006  
Anonymous jennifer (she said) said...

i need to come back to this again and again. and then again. you aren't alone m, in your struggle to move forward, to live your life, to claim something for yourself.

jennifer

12:19 PM, April 21, 2006  
Anonymous beansprout said...

Thank you so much for this. Brought tears to my eyes. I hear your struggle. Know that you aren't alone in this. I am right with you .

3:08 PM, April 21, 2006  
Blogger Jessie said...

I don't know where your writing was at in the past, but I can say that what you have on this blog is some of the most powerful writing of all. Maybe we can never be the best judge of our own work--"success" in writing is too subjective.

But I could relate to the buying of books on writing. I do the same thing when I feel like I'm in a slump. And that poem--yes, the poem says it all. I'm tacking that one up on the wall.

You are an incredibly talented writer Mardougrrl. I've read your last Sunday Scribbling a half a dozen times already. I keep thinking--gah, I want to be able to write like that! I love your words--and I hope that you can see just how talented you are too. Maybe some days we just need someone to remind us of our strengths--writing is definately one of yours.

6:59 PM, April 21, 2006  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

That is one of my very favorite poems, and that very last line is something that I took very much to heart when I had to make one of the most difficult but necessary decisions in all my life, and it was so nice to reread it here! I can understand ALL too well where you are at regarding writing. But know that one person here in Portland loves your writing. Its the extremely rare few who don't have the doubts and frustrations you expressed. I wish I were in that rare few, but alas, I'm not! Just know that you ARE a writer and a wonderful one at that!

11:58 AM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i like this poets perspective on what darkness can mean some times:

"The dark will be your womb tonight"

so beautiful and perfect for your emotions at this time.

i've missed you.

2:25 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

this is one of my favorites...i just love david whyte.

i do the same thing you do...when i want something in my life to change or manifest i buy a book about it....

8:54 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger Laini said...

When I'm uninspired, or beyond uninspired -- when I'm positive I have no talent and that being creative is too hard, buying books on craft is a really good diversion. It often picks me up. Just a step on the way back to finding my creativity. Sometimes too I like to daydream about what my "writing studio" will look like when we can buy a bigger house!

9:59 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh a big exhale with that last line. wow. WOW.
thank you for sharing this.
i hope that books and poetry brought you a little bit of solice and support this weekend.

1:43 AM, April 24, 2006  
Blogger Midwestern Deadbeat said...

Hello, Ms. M. I've just discovered your blog and wanted to say hi and that it's great to discover another literary mama. (I read the post on chocolate, too--I love the idea of a chocolate benediction--but my comments seem more relevant to this post.) In the past I was a HUGE one for devouring books on craft instead of writing, but now I just blather, blather, blather away, and don't allow myself, no matter what, to think about how bad the writing is. I hate that the best way to get writing done is to sit down and do it. I'm no good at that, and it seems like there's got to be some easier way, no? ;)

Thanks for the poem, too. It, and what you said about faith being most needed when it's most difficult to find, reminds me of John of the Cross.

I'll drop back in soon and peruse your archives. In the meantime, good luck!

10:26 AM, April 26, 2006  

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