I’m not sure if I’ll venture out before the shuttle comes. It’s raining and I’ve lost a third of my rain gear, once made up of a jacket and pair of flip-flops.
Holed up in my hotel room, I’ve been thinking about changes this trip will bring — how last night, my teacher thanked me for coming. I’m wondering where “this” will lead. Knowing that “this” depends upon me.
My teacher sensed what I did not confess: I had risked by coming to Iowa. Putting myself ‘out there’ has never been easy. Instead I flourish within an everyday security blanket of a few people back home. This is what I like to say.
But this had been good. It helped to get away. Alone. To be myself without props. To see who I am. Alone.
Alone and not alone. Wanting to write but not wanting to write. Fears of being good but not good enough. Good enough for what? Is it the publishing thing again? Do I want that?
There are so many great writers. I sat with a few in class this week. Their words amazed, their speed at writing amazed more. They shared their work with ease. I too shared, but only when called upon. And then not always.
I am not ready to recite a litany of what this week has given me. I don’t yet know. But there’s expectation, if not in myself, at least within others, that there will be change. Imperceptible. But there — like all those things we can’t quite “put our finger on.”
The words came into my mind just now — the other shoe must drop. It sounds corny, but given that I lost one of my flip-flops around town yesterday, I’m wondering about that lone flip-flop that remains in my purse. Where will it land? What use does one lone flip-flop have?
— FOOT NOTE —
After finishing this entry, I had two hours to spend. I decided to go out. What the heck, I thought, the worst that can happen is I’ll get wet. Out the glass door, I rounded the corner and stopped. Lying on the ground near a trash can was a flip-flop. I leaned down, shook my head and smiled. Claiming what was mine, I weighed the rubber sole in my hand before dropping it in my purse. Then putting on my hood, I stepped into the rain.
For a while I’ve lost the link to your blog… glad I found it tonight. And what do I see, Iowa Summer Writing Festival. I’ve always associated Iowa with writers. Look forward to reading more about your experience there.
And I look forward to writing about Iowa, for in the writing of it, I will come to know what gifts I received — in part.
Iowans are passionate about poetry, prose, play-writing and politics. And from my brief observation, Iowans share their p’s and q’s and other letters without reservation, to whoever wishes to partake.
Should you wish to fly south for the summer, this writing festival is a good place to land.
I just laughed when you mentioned some of your fellow writers’ speed. I don’t write fast, either – wish I could. Or maybe it’s just that I’m always distracted – always thinking I should be at work or at mom’s or at the grocery store or sweeping the patio.
I wouldn’t even have to go to Iowa. Just having a week to write and not do anything else would be heaven.
The only thing you’ve said that’s made me go “eeeecccchhh” is the phrase “passionate about politics”. I’m so sick of people who are passionate about their politics I’m about to scream. But I guess the only solution to that between now and November would be running off to a cottage in the woods. I’ll take my books and notebook with me.
Wandering to the woods a la Walden sounds pretty nice to me too. But in spite of our druthers, politics were definitely on the menu, especially at the breakfast place I fell in love with that each morning was filled with Iowa City locals. I confess to eavesdropping a time or two, wishing I could have half their passion for politics. My taste ran more toward the crepe-like omelets.
Getting away — whether to the woods or to Iowa City — does help leave distractions behind to write. I cultivate distractions and then tell myself I’m too busy to write. In Iowa, I ran out of excuses. And even though slow, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.
Back in the saddle for almost a week now, I’m herding distractions with one post to my name — and nothing to show on two other writing projects that call out to me.
Calgon — take me away..?