Say/Mean

A poem I wrote when I was twenty years old.


“I’m fine”

I need time to figure out how

I feel.

I need you to know what’s

wrong because that’s how

I measure if you care at all.

I’m dying, I’m dead, I need

to sleep for a hundred years,

just go away.

“I’m tired”

Life is a pile, a huge bucket full of

lead or dead things, and I

must carry it all, no one else

takes a turn, and they shout

and growl at my selfishness,

demanding I share the load,

but it is screwed to my

shoulders and my skin tears

when they pull.

I do not think my life will

ever consist of anything but

waiting.

“Goodbye”

It’s not just a “see you later,” we

very well won’t see each other for

the rest of our corn-fed lives, and

if we do we shouldn’t, we’ll just

keep on killing each other and

saying thank you about it.

I never want to leave you but I

have the kind of exhaustion that

perpetuates itself and if I don’t

move from this bed I will turn to

dust

“I love you”

I’m too weak to love myself and

so I give it to others to carry, and

now that I’ve given it to you I

don’t have to work – I can

skate by on the warm air of

your voice, the red words you hush

into my ears, and I will have

absolutely no cares until you stab

me right through my chest and then

I will have every care that ever

existed at once.

I wouldn’t buy myself for a dollar,

for laundry quarters, for the

last egg in the carton.

“Don’t leave me”

Don’t leave me

“I forgive you”

I’m still pissed as hell but you’re

important enough to me and I’m so

used to you doing your life right close

to my life that I can’t keep on being

silent with you so goddammit we

need to get over something before

the conflict turns to a god and

smites us to oblivion, to the oblivion

of cold acquaintance.

I need you to hurt me again later.

Advertisements

Writer with a capital Wuh

salt-driftwoodAt some point toward the end of earning my English degree, it occurred to me that there was a fundamental discrepancy between myself and my peers. I listened during class discussions, I saw all the hours put into drafts, I observed body language, tone of voice, diction, and I realized something. At some indeterminate point in that three years, each one of my peers became a Writer. Some of them showed up on campus as a doe-eyed freshman already a Writer. Some of them made the metamorphosis during their Capstone projects. For most of them it was somewhere in between. But as I glided across the stage to receive my extremely expensive Official Piece of Card Stock, I didn’t see myself as a Writer.

I had done plenty of writing to get to that point – I passed all my classes and read all the books – but I didn’t have that voracious, permeating sight that seemed to set Writers apart from people who wrote. Even when it wasn’t for an assignment, I never found writing fun. It was cathartic, introspective, purifying, but I never felt giddy or found myself grinning for no reason after a draft.

These were my thoughts upon my graduation. Everyone else had Changed. They needed to write in order to be themselves. I didn’t. Therefore, I wasn’t a Writer. So now that the impetus was gone, there were no deadlines or assignments, I stopped writing. Oddly enough pretty soon after that I began again, but of an entirely different sort. Instead of the content, the form was the focus now. Calligraphy. I wrote for hours and hours a day, but they were never my words. Only my body, my wrist and hand, made my writing appealing.


So, welcome to my blog. I hope that introduction gave some context. I’ve tried to land the plane and give my idea of what a Writer really is, whether or not I am one, and why that matters, but the sentences jumble and twist and make no sense. So I’ll answer those questions later.

So, yes, this may end up being a blog full of answerless questions. But it’s mine.


My husband just told me that he loves when I write. I asked him why.

“It’s a permanent conversation. It’s a conversation that I can’t forget, and it’s full of your voice.”

And voice, my friends, is a whole other story.

By Way of Explanation: Closing my Business

fullsizerender-2As you can see, I haven’t posted anything on my professional Instagram for about three months. That last post was around the time my heart was understanding something my brain wouldn’t yet agree with — I was not meant to run my own business.

For some context: I adore creating things. I inherited my creative spark and talent from my mother, and I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t enchanted by paints, charcoal, thick paper, colorful pigments, dark ink, and smudged fingers. After college I saw so many “solepreneurs” and “lady bosses” making it around me in the creative hub of the Twin Cities, and I was completely caught up. I was swept along in a current comprised of one part inspiration, one part aspiration, and quite a few parts, well, envy. I wanted what they had. I wanted the modern/vintage combo studio, the shining, diverse portfolio, the inviting website, the freedom to work when and how I wanted, the family of encouraging collaborators. And how could it go wrong — I love art! That’s surely all it takes; the crowd of creative business owners around me made it look so joyful and easy.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was going to take some elbow grease. I knew there would be difficult clients, long hours bent over the work table, cramped fingers from gripping the pen into the night, practicing until I went cross-eyed. My head knew that, and my heart thought it sounded amazing. I could fit it in around my “day job” and make it happen until I could go full-time. I could really be my own boss, construct my own work space, schedule my own hours, have that perfect work-from-home balance.

And it worked, for about a year. I had clients, they were happy with my work, they were giving me glowing reviews and recommending me to their friends. I was expanding my ideas, trying new things, dreaming about the “big time.” And then, without noticing, I was myself putting things off. I was turning down opportunities. I would rather read a book or organize the kitchen or have dinner with friends — this was my “free time,” I didn’t want to spend it working! But Lindsey, isn’t that the life you’re dreaming of? Being in charge of your time and choosing to spend it on your work, what you’re passionate about? Isn’t art “what you’d rather be doing?”

At this point I put my shop on vacation, telling myself I needed a breather to re-focus my goals and generate some exciting new ideas. I spent time with my husband. I read books. I went out with friends. I threw myself with new purpose into my “day job.” I watched a TED talk called “How to Unfollow Your Dreams.” I took time to understand how I even work as a person. Turns out, on paper, I’m the last person that should be their own boss. Concrete schedules, clear instructions, finite checklists, set working hours, annual reviews, progress reports — all things that make my little INFJ heart sing — are seldom found in the working life of a solepreneur. Being your own boss means not knowing what your day is going to look like. It means having your plan change in a split second, making it work with what you have, taking opportunities before you think you’re ready. All those things, the things that I saw in the lives of those around me and thought I wanted, were sucking the life from me. They’re good things. Extremely admirable traits. But God made me how I am, and I’m not wired to thrive in environments like that.

This process has taught me to admire all the lady-bosses around me even more. Having dipped my toe into that pool, I am in even more awe at seeing them thrive with the late nights, the “work until it’s done” hours, the making it work when things change in a blink. They’re on fire! They’re up to their ears in what God created them to do.

So, as I glance over my meticulous personal planner, my three redundant calendars, my bullet-pointed monthly task list, and my to-do list for today, I think, “How did I ever dream of a life so full of curve balls?”