April 5, 2019
A quiet, productive day yesterday – breakfast with Cia surrounded by happily feeding birds in the sunroom, followed by a full morning of writing work at my desk – polishing poems, writing a new one, organizing my binders of poems, and, of course, sending some writing out to publishers.
I feel good that I’m finding a helpful routine for my writing – my ‘hobby’, as I’ve lately been calling it. People have all sorts of hobbies – photography, gardening (like Cia), quilting, cooking, hiking, sewing, etc – and mine, for the last 40+ years, has been writing. Hobbyists usually take pride in being orderly in their work – keeping good records, for instance – and I take some pride in looking at my chock-full and systematized binders of poems and stories and novels. It has been an absolute pleasure for me to be involved in this hobby for most of my life, and now, in peaceful, stress-free retirement, I’m able to truly see the fruits of my happy hobby. I continue to send writings out to publishers and agents (because that’s part of the fun of the hobby!) but I no longer get discouraged when rejections come in, which they steadily do. I’m pursuing this hobby only because I thoroughly love it. Yes, it is wonderful when I receive notice of acceptance from a publisher, but that is a very secondary joy compared to the quiet daily pleasure of writing, reading, and organizing what I’ve written.
And here is yesterday’s poem. Is it a ‘great’ poem? Will a publisher like it? Honestly, those are totally irrelevant questions to me. All that’s important is that I get the merry shakes when I read this poem:
SET ON A HILL
Usually, even in sorrowful times,
he feels like a city set on a hill
that simply can’t stop shining its lights.
Sorrow, of course, has its own lights
to shine, if we can stand still
and see them, and he’s seen them
so often that sorrow, now, is the
brightest and most serene skyscraper
in the city set on a hill that is him.
He sometimes sits silently and sees
himself, this old, sparkling city on a hill,
and wonders how sorrows and joys
join hands again and again to build
countless cities like him, where even
teardrops glow and show the way.