Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm back from 4/5 weeks in Taos, spread apart over the course of a year. The trip has become "easy" now, my BFF from the intensive, Maryam, and I have decided. We are so used to the flights, the trip, that we were able to shake it up big time this time, take stops along the way, meet up in Santa Fe and do separate legs, coordinated through texting and my iPhone GPS system. Fun had by all before and after, and during, well, as I described to my students on retreat with me the weekend before I left for Taos for a week, Imagine 6 days of nothing but sitting, walking and writing in silence.
Everything drops away, all the surface everythings, and everything rises to the surface, all the underneath things. Out went work, students, paperwork, email (though I checked it to make sure nothing big was going down); up came my entire sexual life from age 12-28, and, well, this time, that was about it. 6 days of my sex life. That's a lot of sex and sexuality. I woke up writing about it, fell asleep writing about it. And it wasn't all sexy, let me tell you.
I come back to this life, this day-to-day classes and assignments, students and paychecks, and I feel behind. Not as behind as if I had left it all behind and not checked my email or phone at all, but there'll be a few hours of catch up for sure.
But I also come out ahead. The writing is still pouring out, as I joked in Taos, hemmoraging out of me, practically. With the acceptance of my second chapbook of poetry (Dreams of Movement) through Finishing Line Press (announced right before I left) and many more projects on the burner, I feel ahead of wherever I would want to be, not so that I need to stop now, but so that the balance is built in - I can relax on writing and pick up the work slack, while still writing, and neither will take over. this year has meant so much to me, still does, in making a true equinimity with teaching and also being a student. "Closing the gap," as Natalie Goldberg talks about to us in Taos, "Close the gap between what you think you are writing and what you are writing," and in my case "What you are teaching and what you are learning."
Behind on tasks, ahead on appreciation.
Behind on submissions, ahead on rough drafts.
Never behind on Love.