The tides always seem to change at the most inopportune times, or at least that idea has occupied quite a bit of my mental space as of late. When I first started this writing challenge, it was for the purpose of forcing myself to write something, anything, every day because I found myself running out of ideas. I would sit down to write and comb through my brain for anything to latch onto, anything that could possibly become new material, but after only a few days, I think I’ve successfully stoked my literary fire back to life. Ideas are plentiful again, and I’m now having the opposite of problem of trying to focus my energies on just one topic at a time so that I’ll actually complete a piece over the span of a day or few.
That was my tripwire today. It was a busier day than it had been the past few, and my mental energy was scattered between a few different projects I wanted to work on. By this time in the day, with the sun setting, I’ve only made minor progress on all the different pieces that I’ve started (and subsequently left to start another), but that in and of itself seems to be an interesting point of reflection. It’s fascinating to think about how we can accomplish more, or perhaps feel more accomplished, when simply working on one small project, even if that happens to be just writing something in order to keep our creative energies circulating, than when we have several different outlets at our disposal all vying for our attention at once.
Over the next few days, hopefully I’ll be able to gather myself and focus on a few of the main projects that I have going on so that I’ll actually be able to finish them. I have a couple poems, a creative nonfiction piece, and a prompt for a short story or two that I’ll be working on for this next chunk of time, so that should be a challenge as I weave my way through a few different genres of writing and subtly adapt my style as I go.
For today though, I recently found an older poem that I wrote several months ago during another sort of writing challenge I put myself through. I was trying to compose at least one entry for each section of a literary magazine I was submitting to, and scrawled this down while I was sitting at my desk in Spain one day. It’s relatively short, but I think it also captures a lot of the things I was thinking about at the time, a lot of which involved social justice. Though I don’t necessarily think it’s some of my best work ever, I do think the underlying ideas are still as relevant as ever to me, contemplation on the notion that we tend to arbitrarily assign value to people without really thinking about the filters or criteria we’re using to make those evaluations.
One last thought: I sort of always hate when I write posts like these, more of a running mental monologue than anything of real substance, but I suppose it also falls within the realm of being able to write something at least vaguely publishable every day in order to keep your firing going, because after all, even a roaring flame still needs fuel at its base.
good | people
what is darkness?
what is light?
the world, the church, the sun, the night?
but no one can decide who the hell is right,
there are people,
good and bad,
in every corner, from every line of sight,
so maybe if,
we tried a little harder,
if we had a little more faith, we just might,
be able to see,
more good people,
instead worrying whether or not we’re right