Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Summer Solstice & the Poet's Life
First of all, I can't believe that it has been nearly 8 weeks since I last posted an entry. In that time I have had book launch events in Syracuse, my hometown, and NYC, when it was nearly 100 degrees and the city was already a bit limp, I have started two salon classes in my home, pulled a few handfuls of weeds when I need to do major excavation of unwanted growth, journaled nearly 100 pages, and started at least six poems that lay fallow on lined white paper waiting for me to concentrate.
I am not sure how the world is to be negotiated all the time but I know that, if I am to succeed in meeting my goals, I must be diligent in constantly putting one foot in front of the other.
There are people who say they can help, they want to help, they intend to help in our lives. There are people we pay to help us. There are people we ask to help us. But it is always really about how we help ourselves.
I have embarked on this path of full-time poet, as a teaching artist and a writer, after years of losing faith that I could always be anchored in this identity. I developed a lot of skills in the process and now, more than ever, is the time to put my skill set to good use in marketing my work and my books. I have what it takes to sell the concept of my work and I am certain every day to make at least two strides in so doing.
And I am constantly trolling for opportunities, searching the web, reading blogs and posts by friends, sharing my passion about my work with other people in the hopes that they have ideas that will guide my progress further.
Many years ago, a wonderful woman of faith, my dear friend Mrs. Gainer, and I would talk of God. She would say to me over and over in our discussions, "Like I always say, Georgia, you take one step toward Him and He will take two steps toward you." I have to echo that to myself constantly.
Yesterday, I had a moment of disappointment. Months ago, I applied for a particular fellowship, AGAIN, and got the email that said I was not one of those awarded, AGAIN. The list of things I would have put that $7,000 to good use in resolving was quite long. I really could have used the leg up that the award would have provided. I prayed about it for months. I tried not to be too attached to the outcome and certainly not to rely too heavily on the potential.
But it hurt to be told no once again. It hurt as an artist and it hurt as a human. But today, I am grateful that I woke up to this first day of summer. I will figure out a way to pay the mortgage, all the bills, etc. I always do. Sometimes because friends help me, generously believing in me and aiding me to believe in myself. And sometimes, I just have to keep walking forward.
Here's to a beautiful summer and all we will discover in this season of sowing and growing. It is the journey, not the outcome, in which the real poetry resides.