If You Forget Me-Pablo Neruda

I don’t think that this poet’s work needs a wordy introduction or explanation of its inclusion on the blog. 


I want you to know

one thing. 

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

if each day, 
each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine.


Notes from Grief

As some of the longtime readers of the blog know, I went through several really difficult losses from 2011-2012 and again in 2014. When I lost my fur baby in January 2011, I was unsure if I would survive it. He was my first pet after a really disastrous loss of my previous pets and I grew up surrounded by dogs but it was still hard. Until I lost my mom in 2012. I thought that I would never recover from that loss. It was as if my heart would never heal. Then in February 2014, I lost one of my best friends and in September of that year I lost a cousin who was like my sister. Those losses battered me. Make me feel as if I would never feel anything ever again. 

Those losses taught me some lessons that I absolutely want to convey into a writing course for people who are grieving. Until then, I wanted to share this short piece that I’m adding to the novella that I wrote as my thesis. 

If you’re lucky, grief doesn’t break you. It may shake your foundation and alter you irreparably but often it makes you stronger. In the days after, you wonder how you’re going to make it through another day then you realize that you’re still breathing, walking, feeling; even if it’s nothing but hurt. Grief doesn’t destroy you completely. It’s like a natural disaster; it makes you rebuild. 



Next Year, New Plan

Normally I begin the year with pre-set writing resolutions/goals and that list typically involves creating and shopping new pieces. Next year, I’ve decided to do it a bit differently. I’m going to open the year by studying (really this time) for the GRE and by working on a few academic/nonfiction pieces. I am currently experiencing the kind of creative inspiration that happens periodically so I have ideas coming from all over but they sparked the decision to try to work and create differently. Not in the hopes of having a better outcome but of being more creative and productive. 

I’m currently taking a nonfiction course and have just finished the first draft of the one story that I’ve been avoided since October 13, 2012. It was not cathartic but in getting the story on paper I feel as though I have accomplished something. As I began revising it and trying to decide how I could make it real for the reader I saw the Google Doodle for Steve Biko and remembered a paper that I wanted to write so I jotted down some notes for that idea too. One of my favorite things about teaching World Literature II this spring was having the opportunity to insert some protest literature into the course. That allowed me to introduce myou students to Biko and others they were unfamiliar with. So I want to write about that experience or about that literature.

Are there any ways that you plan to alter your plans for the new year? Have any of you already set your goals for the next year? 


When Your Goals Exceed Your Productivity. 

I set goals every year and work to cross them off my list. Sometimes I arbitrarily decide that they’re accomplished and sometimes they remain on the list year after year. As you can see from the above picture, this year I feel as if I accomplished nothing so these goals are rolling over to 2017. 

Although I have been working on these goals, especially in the beginning of the year, I  don’t feel as if I worked enough to mark anything off my lists. As you can see, they’re simple lists but I wasn’t able to mark anything off of them so this is how my 2017 lists will look too.

Have any of you turned your gaze to setting 2017 goals? What are you looking forward to most? Are any of your goals going with you to the new year? 

The Library Adventures

A Library to Admire

A few weeks or so ago, I stumbled across this beauty posted on Instagram. It made me rethink everything about my home office with it’s mismatched shelving and other junk. This is the real life home library of bibliophile and Instagram user @hotcocoareads(Jeana). For the first time in a long time, I committed the sin of coveting. I mean, this thing is a book lover’s(and writer’s) dream. It’s the perfect blend of function and necessity in my opinion. 

Look at it!  Two stories of books, seating areas, a work area, glorious lighting, a fireplace, wooden blinds, a winding staircase, and beautiful rugs. All tied together with a sage-like paint. There’s even several pieces of art under one of the lower windows.  

She said that they  bought their house with creating this room in mind and that while it was under construction she kept hoping it would all be worth it. We both agree that the end result was well worth it. Jeana also said that she uses this as her writing space. I can only imagine the inspiration this room brings. I haven’t given thought to my dream library in at least seven years. This picture made me realize that I should plan for this type of place where I could work, read, drink tea, and relax. 

Do you have a library? Or a room with books? What does your dream library look like? 


I Went Back-Archie Randolph “A.R” Ammons

​I found this piece in late October while reading an old edition of “Our State”magazine. The title of the section called to me as I sat in a waiting room. It was “10 Poems Every North Carolinian Should Read.” As soon as I got home I began looking online for a copy even though I’d written down the titles of the poems featured. I don’t know anything about the poet but the poem resonated with me. 

I went back
to my old home
and the furrow
of each year
plowed like
surf across
the place had
not washed
memory away.