Solitude Work and Privacy

I have always enjoyed my own company, reading books and travelling by proxy to other lands and cultures.

Seriously lacking in our current culture is minding our own business. With societal lack of privacy and isolation, it is tempting to throw up our hands and let it all hang out. Even despite extreme technological abilities and the people who use it, my privacy rests in God. This is a biblical concept.

Stated in a previous post, I wrote that I hated writing a sonnet. Not as easy as the haikus I write. But today I decided to concentrate on the task at hand, and came out of it with 50 minutes of work and a decent 1st draft of my second stanza. I struggled for years thinking writing poetry was not work. Behind this was caring what others thought of me. It did nothing but rob me of poems that were not written.

Finished Walden. Henry David Thoreau loved his own company for two years. This is a gift.

Start A Journal

Include the flotsam and jetsam of life.

  • Grocery lists
  • Keyword memos
  • To do lists
  • Honey do lists
  • Doodles
  • Descriptions of your workspace or reading room – spatially and in detail
  • Events
  • Odd facts to rewrite and organize later
  • Photographs
  • Nonsense and notions

Step up a notch and include personality

  • Feelings – make it tangible, use metaphor
  • People that are honored – why?
  • Dark nights of the soul
  • Things that are hated – why?
  • Writing ideas
  • First drafts

Look up

  • Dreams and visions – for interpreting divine messages
  • Prayers – for others and yourself
  • Bible verses – that resonate with your spirit

All of life in the grand scheme of things is not really flotsam and jetsam. Journals can be historical documents for family members and posterity. They give an account of a culture during a period of time.

God sees.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:7

Lockdown Lessons

Many are saying that 2020 is the worst year ever. And I agree, I never would have chosen to stay-at-home. Many are suffering in ways that breaks my heart.

But if you are a glass half-full optimistic type person, there are silver linings. (I have been on a cliché kick lately). For some of us, this has been a time of reflection of our lives, and a time to ask for divine wisdom on where to go once the doors are open to rebuild.

I learned the joy in writing posts.

I learned that God provides in unusual ways, requiring me to step out of my comfort zone in two separate situations.

I have reassessed my writing projects, putting one on the back burner: my Coos Indian flash fiction series. I am writing my first sonnet, and I have to say I hate it. I will do it once to say I did one. Not all bucket list items are fun.

I opened my college grammar book, and decided it was time to brush up.

I have heard the phase “New Normal.” I don’t accept it. I see the major writing magazines writing many articles around this concept, and in a few this concept has taken center stage over their main mission – writing encouragement and advice. I enjoy writing as a hobby and hoping to touch a few lives out there, so I don’t read many articles on publishing. But I have been taking notice of the writing industry and how it will change in the days ahead, in this cultural war.

Writers’ Magazines and Bias

I subscribe to four major writing magazines. I have read writers’ magazines off and on for most of my adult life. I glean mainly writing encouragement from all four.

A few issues ago, sad to say I can’t remember which one, a subscriber wrote a letter to Poets & Writer’s version of Letters to the Editor called “Reactions.” This person was enjoying an interview article and thought “wait for it,” regarding a political dig, and it was there as expected. I was shocked that Poets & Writers even published it. Because it is true – the magazine is very politically biased. Every issue takes a dig at our current administration in every single issue.

The magazine closest to just writing advice and encouragement? It would be Writer’s Digest, though I would love to see more articles about poetry throughout the year. However, the article “A Different Kind of Story” mentions two races, one capitalized and one not.

Do I have a choice to not read them? Yes, and I may decide not to. I subscribed to Poetry magazine a few years ago and started to read the first one I received. I could not finish. Poems containing explicit sexual actions in them. I never renewed. But God can and does use anybody or anything – reading through the parts I would rather not, I still find a nuggets of gold.

Hopefully someone will hear the clarion call to raise a mainstream non-partisan, family-friendly writers’ (poets’) magazine. The cultural pendulum is swinging (and needs to swing) in a more family-friendly direction. I can’t help but wonder if these magazines will prosper or even continue in the days ahead, if they do not course correct.

What Is A Poet?

While searching for a word meaning in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, I came across the word poet. In the New Testament section, the word means “a maker,” and was later used as a “doer.” The classical Greeks used it to refer to any author, but especially to a “poet.”

John Drury, author of the po·e·try dic·tion·ar·y, defines it as “One who creates poems, or one who has created them, or one who thinks or feels like a poet … or one who prepares to write poems or attempts writing them or otherwise stays alert for words, images, and experiences that might coalesce into the nucleus of a poem.” Other nationalities have different words for poet. And not everyone thinks highly of poets; e.g., poetaster is a term of ridicule.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, defines (I will use the second definition as the first is obvious and not as poetic) poet as “one (as a creative artist) of great imaginative and expressive capabilities and special sensitivity to the medium.”

My personal definition of poet is a state of mind, connecting and associating things in metaphorical language to convey an idea, feeling, or image. It is the soul part of my personality, wanting to break free from my state of silence. It is my beautiful Oregon geography which supplies me with multiple ideas. It is communication with the Holy Spirit, who creates dreams and visions for me to scan for meaning and wisdom.

Who is the Master Poet? God, who used His imagination to create the heavens and the earth. Then created man in His likeness to co-create with Him.