Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Living The Poem

When boldly I announce that I am a writer, something my friends and family know about me, they inevitably ask: What do you write? That is when I feel a shyness come over me, and shrinking a bit,  I attempt to answer with a description that is short, to the point, compelling and satisfying to the person asking, who has taken an interest to ask.  This is the reason why I have not been "public" about the contents of the journal before: The idea is to connect and my fear is disconnect! Just as any writer would  have it, I didn't want the interested to lose interest. I needed to refine, define the voice and the audience, to chisel at it so to speak, so that I would not lose the reader/listener.

The first point I want to make is that the perception of being a writer is that 1) you have been published 2) you are working on something to be published in the future 3) that you have defined which category of writing your writing falls under.

I am attempting to answer the question about what it is that I write, so for the most part,  this is where journaling becomes the full work for me. It is an autobiographical writing artform in itself, lately getting more recognition as a tool for self-knowledge and documenting, with memoirs appearing in the publishing spotlight. I began my writing "journey" in notebooks when I was 15. Embellished at times with clippings, pictures, drawings, doodles, unfinished stories, and many, many dreams and poems embedded throughout, they cover over three decades (almost four)!

 When I discovered Anais Nin's journals at the university bookstore one day, I was elated and thrilled! Someone else had done it in a very similar way and I had found my mentor. To this day, Anais has been one of my writer-heroes, followed by Henry Miller, Erica Jung, Virginia Woolf, Colette,  Gustav Flaubert, Herman Hesse, to name some that come to mind immediately. I have admiration for so many more, not just writers of books of all kinds, but for lyricists/songwriters as well.  I continued to make my entries and let the words come, and become, as I expanded my self-guided tour through literature and non-fiction.

 What I want most of all: to portray a time and place, people and ideas, to document history, personal and collective, and to spark the imagination. The plan was to publish the journal just as is, in it's organic form, or perhaps not publish it at all, but let it be an original work of writing, a collection. I would select hardcover notebooks and they would be stand-alone parts of the complete set. They would be a work in itself, no editing, just raw and real.  At the time when I recognized how passionate I was about this life-long project, I had no idea of the opportunities and many choices and forms of "publishing" one's work that would unfold as time passed, and I am excited about some new possibilities that are on the horizon...

Here are some pages from the notebooks beginning with the following posts, while continuing to add some current writing, and multimedia. These notebooks are about to have a life of their own here, where the experience of writing becomes complete in the sharing!

 For starters, here is an entry from 1981, when I worked in New York City and my commute was devoted to reading, "Oh, Page, Oh Citadel". That was my Virginia Woolf phase...I think I was reading THE WAVES....

From November 2004 (Page 1)
From November 2004 (Page 2)