Friday, August 18, 2017

Disease

Self-Portrait


I can’t remember how to 

  write

the fear and the dread 
are
swamps

not founts

the words 
I cupped
been bulldozed to

 dust

and I feel dead inside 
dead inside 
dead and-

 lost

  
cannot - 

 right.

21 comments:

Aniket Thakkar said...

Don't do that.

I'm sure you heard the speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d_gqaonCJc
If there ever was a time for you to write - this is it.

It might make a difference. It might not.

But if folks like you start giving up, there is no hope.

Trolls, bots and extremists are ruling the interweb as either the good folks are giving up, or tired of trying to have logical discussion with someone who wants war, and not a debate.

The comments here for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0fc83lyoho

Feeding trolls doesn't help. But if this is ALL that people get to read, the world will be full of sadness and hate.

This is not the time to give up.

Sarah Hina said...

It's not about giving up. It's understanding that the things you used to write about don't feel resonant or true in the present moment. And not yet knowing how to grapple with the new reality.

It's like trying to write in the middle of an avalanche. We're still falling. And the sound and fury of that still feels outside of me. Not that I'm not being affected by it...I most certainly am. But I have nothing interesting, or unique, to say about it. It's a cataclysm and a tragedy. Meanwhile, I'm dumb and paralyzed.

The good news is this is only a snapshot of the current moment. I'm frustrated and disheartened, but I'm not throwing in my hat. I do think, over time, I'll find a way to internalize all this--either through writing about it or learning how to escape its influence more successfully. But I'm not there yet. And especially not this week.

I am glad you stopped by to give me a pep talk, though. :) See? I just need to throw a temper tantrum every once in awhile to get people to notice.

Charles Gramlich said...

it's particularly hard to write in a time of turmoil. I do sometimes find it to be an escape from outside turmoil though. Hope you can get a handle on it all.

Sarah Hina said...

Charles, thanks. I think I'm there, in fits and starts. You're right about it being a form of escapism. Very necessary right now.

Aniket, I am trying the last few days. Didn't want my earlier response to seem overly harsh or negative. I do need a kick in the pants every now and again. I do appreciate your support, always. <3

Aniket Thakkar said...

If you think one harsh comment (which it wasn't, by the way) will make me go away, then you really don't know me yet. :)
You have better chances of becoming best friends with Trump, than getting rid of me.

On the point of "But I have nothing interesting, or unique, to say about it" - remember that little girl in the red coat from Schindler's List? It was one of the only 4 color images in an otherwise black and white film.

You may not have anything to say about all the black, white, and all things grey in between that are going around you. But you can write about a girl in red coat, who is trying to find her way in a dark, dark world.

Or the little girl can have nothing to do with this world at all. I don't speak for the masses (only for my asses :P) but I, for sure, can use some distraction.

You are a writer. You can create actors & characters, create and destroy worlds, ride dragons and spaceships. You have unimaginable powers powered by your imagination. It'll be such a shame if you wont use them.

Sarah Hina said...

You're really good at this. I might just keep you around after all.

I can do red. I don't know about dragons, though. Spaceships? Maybe. It depends. Can we send Trump away on one? The aliens land and say, "Take me to your leader," and we say, "No. Really. You can have him."

I kind of dig it.

Aniket Thakkar said...

See! You are already getting great ideas!

There's so much you can do -

'The misadventures of Tiny Hand Trump'

or

'Close encounters of the last kind'

or

'Search for Trump: The lost Dalek'

or

'We fucked up bad - Letters from 2050'

or

'Lost' - Air Force One crashes into a mystical island, where everything runs on logic and reason. How will Trump administration cope when they face enemies like they have never encountered before!

or

'Skynet resurgence' - Skynet sends back a terminator to protect Trump ensuring humanities doom. Was behind rigging the elections all along.

The possibilities are endless!

the walking man said...

I have for a half decade tried to isolate myself away from the world I am surrounded by. It does not work, stimulation has always been prompted through internal understanding of a scene--God alone knows how many times I have written, thought, or said "fuck 'em." It allows the pressure relief valve to let some of it go--but I do not have the same desires I once did.

Welcome back Sarah, keep in touch and maybe we can trade boot prints on our pants.

Sarah Hina said...

You bet, Mark. I'm really happy you came by. I have missed your voice and all those voices I once treasured, but have somehow passed us by.

I want the same desires and I don't. I guess that's maturity. But it scares me, too.

the walking man said...

Oh my Sarah--I just turned the page to read 63. Trust me I can be as immature as ever, maturity as defined in the good ol' USA (job, family, taxes, debt)never bothered me, my wife and I live well within our means and shed all of the things that hinder most people (especially debt). I just got too old to care whether my kids have time for me or if I ever will wake up without some major pain or--or--or --whatever.

When we first started this mapping of our journey, this platform was about as good as it got, then FB came to be along with (insert media platform here) & (______) & then by God we found a way to dump the cable for Netflix or (___) or (____) all of a sudden we were right where we were wanted; the land of distraction. Kids, school, job, occasionally time for real sex, and the bursting social protests and the protests over protests; living to me became like water swirling down the bowl. I grew up in the 60's I've seen this shit before--didn't care for it then (except, of course, for some of the drugs) & I don't care for it now (and the drugs--well they suck by comparison).

In short it is far easier to curl up in the corner of distraction and blanket ourselves in desire for whatever simpler days we have seen to return. *sigh* What I am learning is there is no OZ and that Kansas was lost in the Dust Bowl of gerrymandering dung riding pols who only desire wealth.

So what do we do? Not the universal we(fuck 'em), but you and I. How do we reclaim our mojo, our desire to document, to make words into pictures, to tell tales both large and small? Aye there is the rub and the question--and I have no outright, clear or straight path forward to an answer..,

What say you Sarah Hina--how do we move forward from here? bdd44m5@gmail.com

Sarah Hina said...

I'm still figuring it out, but for me, it involves a submersion in nature. It means keeping my eyes open to beauty and truth, but both in moderation. I don't want to escape this world, but I don't want to have to hold it up, either. I know what I'm suited for, and it's nothing grand or earth-shaking. It's important to live authentically as well as aspirationally. I don't want to be part of any tribe.

I think the distractions are there, and ever more malignant, and it's easier to be distracted than to pay attention, think, and not just react in the moment. (Especially since Trump took office. Everything feels high alert.) I guess that's what I mean by maturity. I don't want to want or argue things just for the sake of getting attention or validation. Not sure that was always the case.

Yet I also think I've confused maturity with aloofness. I loved blogging because it brought me closer to people. I still need people. I want my work to be read. I want to read others'. And some of my despair is recognizing that I've lost that--and it feels quite final. If we could resurrect blogging as the foremost creative medium for writers? Sign me up. But it's not going to happen. That moment feels gone. My books floundered. I still want to write, but the urgency isn't as potent as it used to be because my words feel more forlorn than ever.

Yet when a transcendent moment does come, I'm happy. Fulfilled, even. And it always comes when I'm out on my own, with a notebook and pen and no preconceptions. And those are the moments I'll continue to seek, for as long as I'm able.

You've been quiet lately, Mark. What's been stewing for you?

the walking man said...

The odd thing about stew is there are so many things combined to make the whole. Anger is still potent but I feel it simmering off into indifference. Perspectives have been destroyed in this very bizarre social environment that has emerged in the past 2 1/2 years,

I am concerned that I will never know my oldest grandchild (17) but when she told me I could call her if I wanted to talk to her--I simply said "it doesn't work that way" and although I still have room on my fingers and toes to count the number of times I have seen her in that 17 years--grandpa is still mean enough to wait & see if some sense comes out of the relationship between my descendants and myself while I live. My 3 year old (step) grandson is a trip, I see him once a week overnight but he pretty much stays away from me because I say "no" a LOT. I think about my kids some but I learned a long time ago to not obsess. 17 years sober changed my perceptions a bit. I do not have any need to be wanted, I either am or am not.

I have been quiet lately, mainly because I isolate away from the things that once gave me reason to make noise. I stay home a lot. I go shooting once a week, occasionally I run an errand or two but my vehicles combined are driven less than 15,000 miles per year. Less than 1/2 of what I drove 5 years ago.

Sarah I started writing somewhere close to 50 years ago, I never wrote to be read or find acceptance, sanity maybe, but only when I started saving what I wrote did I think about refining it, the need to punctuate and edit, and eventually to hit the open mic circuit which led to a small measure of local renown and a whole boatload of "friends." 'Tween you and me and anyone else who may read this, it got tedious and painful. Especially in 2006 when I went to 9 funerals, my mom was one and 6 others were suicides *shrug* I would prefer that I didn't know those men so well but they made a choice I know I couldn't have changed.

So we have cooling anger, isolation, memory, present foolishness controlling the planet we are destroying, and my age which allows me to see and accept that my road will end sooner as opposed to later all in that crock pot.

When it comes directly to writing I know I can write, I can be coherent, I can write very fast still, I can make just about anything I want into a metaphor clear enough for a lover of free verse to see the point, I have 8 editing credits in self-published books, one which sold over 15,000 copies (a memoir), and have thousands of pieces in my own folder amounting to God alone knows how many words--and I think, "what does it amount to? A whole lot of I's and O's on a few hard drives and memory sticks. I am not particularly clever and people still want something that grabs their attention and gives them some come back repartee they haven't thought of.

the walking man said...


BUT and this is the point age gives you the ability to look backwards and see the finished, unfinished, and irreconcilable but not so much the ability to look forward and project will upon a future that will be too late in coming. By the by I was forced into a disability retirement LONG before I was ready, which sucked and has gone on for far too long. I liked repairing machinery, pumps, motors, cars, tractors & what not now i don't even have a complete set of real tools.

You on the other side of that coin have not earned your right to total cynicism and collapse of your self-expression. You MUST keep on writing when you have the time. Time stolen from your responsibilities of family, job, community, and everything else you know you are responsible for. Of course I am certain there is at least a few pieces of baggage you could get rid of; everyone carries bags someone else put on them because they were too lazy to carry their own shit. That you can leave right where you stand; that is one of the many facets of my "fuck 'em" philosophy. A way of life that took me nearly 35-40 years to define and live to the fullest.

Yes it is ageist for me to say, "sorry kid you're too young to fully immerse yourself in that way." It takes decades to strip completely and utterly naked enough to hear your very first heartbeats and move forward from there straightening your own shit out as you return to your present self a new person. Although a gentleman would never ask, that is one attribute I have always refuted when ascribed to me; how old are you Sarah Hina of Ohio? My guess is 34-36.

Is that old enough to quit on your inner dreams for yourself? Seen enough to want to be blinded? Gotten so small that the prom dress doesn't fit anymore so you live in baggy sweatshirts and the past? If I am correct on your age be assured I do not discount it but I could produce a list of writers who wrote reams, destroyed multitudes of trees to produce enough paper, who simply kept at it and eventually they hit the goal they set. OK So we can throw care into the stew pot, I still care about other true writers who struggle through their own being and place to emerge somewhere else. You are a writer Sarah, maybe not first and foremost at the moment, but I assure you the minefield you are looking for is ahead of you.

When all the extraneous bullshit gets blown out of your spirit and your soul, you'll find that literary lethargy will be nothing more than a forest you walked through.

Well my friend that is a bowl from my stew pot, it's not fully cooked yet and certainly the recipe is not completely divulged, but it is enough to give you a taste of old man thinking.

much love Sarah of Ohio

m

Sarah Hina said...

You are very dear and kind, Mark. The stew is darn good. I liked hearing more about your life than the scraps I get from your poetry. You train a cold, hard eye on the outside world there, but your heart is large and tender, too, which is why I think the world disappoints you so often.

I'm 41 as of last month, so a little older than your guess. No complaints, really--all of this soul searching comes with a healthy dollop of gratitude for my good fortune in life. Wanting more, or desiring recognition for my work, sometimes feels like me clutching for some kind of larger meaning to life. What is life but the desire for...more? Yet I'm not hungry, my kids are healthy and happy for the most part, and I don't have a job I hate going to every day. How many people can say that? I'm lucky.

Writing's always been the way I make sense of the world, and try to bring clarity to my thoughts and feelings. It is self expression, and also therapy. The past year's been murky and scary and crazy as shit. I felt that desire to write freeze up inside of me, because I could no longer make sense of the absurdities and depravities we're witnessing on a daily basis. I feel unmoored and adrift. And that is not a creative space for me. Lucky, I've been able to compartmentalize a little more often lately, and felt the urge to write poetry return to me. (I really did cry when it hit me again.) There is still awe and wonder here, even in that lethargic forest desperately in need of a strong, cleansing beam of light.

Anyway, you've helped me today, Mark. I'm not going anywhere or giving up anytime soon. And, there is something profoundly comforting to me about the fact that we've never met and yet, for years now, you've been reading my heart and mind, and I yours. There is magic in that, don't you think? Still.

Much love to you, Walking Man. Give your grandson a hug for me next time you see him and tell him he can have the biggest bowl of ice cream, because a girl in Ohio said so.

xo

sage said...

Wonderful poem with a nice twist at the ending (and enlightening comments!).

Sarah Hina said...

Sage, thank you! I appreciate your stopping in.

the walking man said...

So I went to give DJ a hug for you and he said and I quote "No grandpa go sit down" I tickled him instead! Little bugger.

Sarah Hina said...

Smart kid--he's holding out for the ice cream.

the walking man said...

As the only responsible adult not overwhelmed by his 3 year old charm, the only one who does not pander to his whims, he can have grandpa get him some ice cream when he actually sits and eats a dinner not hand fed to him by his yaya or parents. The best he gets from me is gummy snacks and I ration them as he does his hugs.

The Mean Grandpa

Sarah Hina said...

Oh no. You're the eat-all-your-vegetables guy. I can only hope your wife is the discreetly-chucks-the-food-in-the-garbage-disposal-while-grandpa's-not-looking guy. As every grandma should be.

roth phallyka said...

Smart kid--he's holding out for the ice cream.


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