2017-10-09 Another Look at a Familiar Book

Over a year ago I was given a book called “Madness, Rack, and Honey”. It’s a collection of lectures from a famous poet who now teaches for an MFA program at Vermont College, Mary Ruefle’s. I started reading the book and then stopped. I then dumped the guy who gave it to me. In return, he broke my heart and I ended up shoving the book under some stuff in the the bottom drawer of my nightstand. I did not want any reminders of him or us. Until very recently, there was still too much grief associated with that break-up for me to entertain looking at the book. Things have changed now though, so I’m giving it another go.

Being a collection of lectures about poetry it is all at the same time fascinating and boring. I can read a page or two here and there, but it’s not the sort of thing you get engaged in from cover to cover. There are lots of little paragraphs of wisdom and enlightenment and lots of historical references to poems and authors.

The topic I started reading about tonight is Fear. Well, there is an entire chapter devoted to fear but the bit that I zoomed in on is more about poets and poetry and inspiration. Here a quote from Raymond Queueau.. “The poet is never inspired because he is the master of what others assume to be inspiration… He is never inspired because he is always inspired, because the powers of poetry are always at his disposal, obedient to his will, receptive to his guidance.”

In my statement of purpose (the original and more recently the one for the MFA application) I write about inspiration. That I am seeking inspiration and some spark that ignites the flame. Is this quite all wrong then? If I’m a true poet and the magic and mystery of life is at my will to command at all times, I can conjure poetry from nothing. I need no spark save the spark within me. I need no feeling or circumstance or grand gesture to assemble a masterpiece of words. I need only apply my own brand of genius and let my fingers do the dancing across the lighted keyboard.

If this is true, then I should not have any trouble with any given prompt or topic. I should be able to “roll off” without a worry or care or fear that the blank page will try and stare me down `till I back down. I have this skill within me. I’m certain that I do because I’ve not only got a poem about this very subject I wrote when I was a mere 17 years old, but I recall writing it on a day when absolutely nothing was going on and I was writing poetry on napkins at the restaurant I was a waitress for. I wonder if I still have those napkins?

The poem was called Rolling Off, and it must not be one I consider good enough because It’s not posted on my blog. But at the same time, it is at least memorable enough that I still recall writing it 27 years later. Time to go take a look at my archives (all paper you know because back then we didn’t not have PCs or Laptops or iPads or iPhones)…. I shall return shortly.

***

As it turns out I no longer have the napkins from the restaurant that I feverishly scrawled on a million years ago, but I did scribe a copy of that poem, “Rolling Off”, into the hardback book of musings I called “And then there was me”.

I was always big on titles and organization. Every journal had a name and every collection of poetry neatly compiled in separate notebooks which also had titles. That poem is garbage. I was hoping for something brilliant, but most of the things in that book are quite terrible. I’m not going to type it here either, because I have some respect for myself.

So one quote from that book, Madness, Rack and Honey led me down this path. I swear I can’t read a page from that book without going down a rabbit hole of thought or writing. It may take me a lifetime to get through the whole book. I at least have to get to the explanation of the title. Super curious about that.

Rack is Probably Not What You Think,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-09-01 The Daily Dose is Doing Me Wrong

I woke up at about 7 with a nasty crimp in my neck and am quick to take some over the counter (OTC) pain meds. At this point, I am finally getting around to reading that book I started in January about health and wellness and diet and and how the mind and body are connected. Many of the health problems women face today in society are diagnosed without enough analysis and doctors are quick to just prescribe “something” to help. The book I am reading is all about getting to the root cause of the problem to nip it at the source and remove the necessity for those drugs.

The chapter I just read yesterday was all about OTC pain meds and the negative affects those things have as well as other environmental factors we commonly use and don’t give a second thought to like lotions and even tap water. The author makes a good case for why people should not take acetaminophen or Ibuprofen or naproxen.

I’m guilty of regularly taking Tylenol (sometimes daily) for headaches and general pain and ibuprofen for cramps so when I read that chapter I was alarmed by what potential “silent” side effects I could have been inflicting on my body all these years. Sometimes I dismiss it when I read claims like these, but the thing I like about this book is that she backs all of it up with evidence from research studies and things that have been learned through years and years of scientific evaluation of how different aspects in the human body are connected.

Part of this book is making a case for alternative/natural medicines and the other part is a dietary plan to put someone on a path to good health. I have had a hard time getting through it because much of it reads like a reference guide and I historically don’t get through those kinds of books easily.

In fact, I started this one in January or February with the intent of getting through the first section so that I could employ the dietary plan in the second section sometime in the spring, but that never happened because I stopped reading.

In the last week, and now that I feel as though I’m meeting with success on the exercise front, I want to couple that with healthy eating and so I’ve picked it back up again with the intent to make September the starting point for making positive changes in my diet. I didn’t count on that including changing anything about my OTC pain med habit, but since reading that chapter yesterday I am totally rethinking that.

However, I have yet gotten to the real “alternate solution” chapter on what to do when you wake up with a headache or a sore neck and I will likely have to get to some store so that I actually have those alternates available when I need them. So this morning it was business as usual with the Tylenol. I’m getting ready to head to the gym now for some cardio on the elliptical and might just skim ahead to see if I can get the info I need on the subject.

Time to get after it!
Welcome to September,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. The book is called “A Mind of Your Own” by Kelly Brogan, MD

2017-06-08 On Books and Reading

I’ve started reading a new book. Something that I picked up in Denver from Lance. It’s called “Love and Garbage” and was written by Ivan Klima. I cracked it open last Sunday when I took the kids to the pool and am really not that far into it, but already I am reminded how much I love to read.

I finished the last book I read back in January when I returned from my trip to Mexico and that was extremely satisfying. After that I attempted to read another book I downloaded randomly on my kindle which was more of a reference and “guide” if you will, to eating healthy. It was very much about the body mind connection and claimed that if you eat healthy, you mind mind will follow suit. While I agree with that somewhat, I just don’t have it in me to read such a thing. It’s apparently not in my nature.

I wrote a poem about it once. I have several books on my shelf that are “instructional” in some way. Everything from being happy, to raising children in a divorce situation, to harnessing the “Power of Now”. I have tried and failed to read all of these. They are wasted on me. But give me a good story about the end of the world and beyond, or some strange romance, or group of characters in a make believe world who have magical powers and I am all-in.

It may get to the point where I’m completely “unavailable” for a couple of days while I disconnect from my reality completely to become one with that world. Pretty soon now, that may be a more frequent occurrence and I am looking very forward to it. I miss reading books. That’s never a thing I thought I would say in my life, but that’s what has happened. Time to change that too.

Keep Reading On,
~Miss SugarCookie