Tuesday, February 9, 2016

And then emerging from the darkness...

Yeah, remember me? I last posted in October on the theme of "Writing in Darkness," and then I went dark - like the winter sun over our cold northern Great Lakes.
Steam rises off open water of Lake Michigan

I've been writing in the darkness - of early morning, of frigid cloudy days, of the late afternoon darkness that is so tough for a lot of us who live in the North. It's part of what makes us who we are, living through these cycles. It gives way to tremendous creative ferment, if one is not afraid of it, not afraid of the darkness - both without and within.

I again commit to keeping up with this blog. We'll try again.

It's not that I have stopped writing. Stoneboat, a literary journal based in Sheboygan, published one of my poems in their fall edition, "2070." It's one of my ecological poems, one of my apocalyptic poems. A lot of art these days is full of this foreboding, poetry included, or even especially. Also Hollywood films. We know what's coming. Whether conscious, deliberately unconscious, pushed back from our attention because it is too terrifying and the changes in our lives required to keep the worst from happening too unwanted - we all know...

...as the seas rise, the storms rage, the droughts intensify, the Arctic melts, the climate refugees begin to leave their homelands, coral reefs die, and plastics fill our oceans. This past week we reached an average 405ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

Expect to see more of the theme in poems, essays, novels, fine arts of all kinds.
Lake Michigan winter sculpture

It's not all I write about. That would kill me, kill the spirit. While it is incumbent upon us to tell the truth about these things, it is also essential that we tell other truths - about love and fear and loss and joy and bliss and tragedy and all the rest.

Getting things ready for submission - that is always the challenge of the limited time most of us have, still needing to find other ways to make a living, so under-valued is the art of writing in this economically oriented culture of ours.

So, this blog emerges from darkness and comes back into the light of day. There is so much I want to share here.

Last word goes to Natalie Goldberg:

"Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life...our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist - the real truth of who we are..."

To which I offer my own resounding, YES!

Text and photos: Margaret Swedish 

Please visit the Stoneboat website and see all the good things going on there. And then maybe you want to order the Stoneboat 6.1 (Fall 2015) edition. It is full of great writing!

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