I haven’t visited this place in awhile. When people don’t post/share as often as they usually have it is assumed that somehow the person is too busy and that too in some negative way that resembles intense overwhelm and chaos which in many ways is preventing the individual from posting on a blog etc.
This has not been the case for me at all.
I now actually have work that allows me plenty of breathing room. So, that’s what I have been doing: breathing. Beyond catching my breath, now I am getting used to what regular breathing is supposed to feel like.
I finished reading Charles Baxter’s latest short stories. I enjoyed them more than I thought I would. That being said, I am in awe of the stories I have read in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology. They are absolutely original and do not follow a formula as can be expected in the contemporary American short stories.
The Thinking Tree website is ready. I haven’t posted any of the strategies for educators yet (primarily focusing on how I can get even the most reluctant young learners to write so much and with their authentic voice). I just wanted the forum available already to my former students whom I miss dearly. Here is an essay by one of my even more former students who is a young woman now!
One of Jamie’s latest work happened to be ready upon serendipitous timing and was included in a show here in Albuquerque in October. That was a lot of fun and it was a sight to observe others as mesmerized by it as I remain.
Yesterday I spent most of the day thinking about current events (Missouri to Japan to Beiruit to Paris) and began working on an essay about the so called “Moderate Muslims”. Although they disapprove of fundamentalist practices in the name of their religion, they too must answer for their hypocrisy when they continue to live in Western countries yet refuse to consider these countries home. But then I stopped writing. I recalled reading this article, “Removing Hijab, Finding Myself“, not too long ago. I applaud this woman for stepping out of her comfort zone and exploring what is the real reason she once wore the hijab and the privilege of being in a country that allows her to dress however she wants where as in many Muslim countries this practice is imposed on women. I thought about this article and thought about what I was writing and all I could think was: if this is what “moderate” Muslims are battling—should I cover my head or not?—I can’t even imagine how lost the others feel and reserved my judgmental tone in that essay I had begun and never finished it.
What a mess! All of it. Not to mention the hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia, the breeding grounds for fundamentalism, and that country’s relationship with the United States. Here is a recent prime example of this: Saudi Arabia Sentences Poet to Death.
Often I feel like I am in some suspended state on a merry-go-round where my brain can’t keep up with the misinformation being circulated on the Internet and the idiocracy no one will question. Surely, this is some experiment or joke by the Universe. Humanity can’t be devolving this rapidly, or can it? Or is it all just part of the evolution? Part of some Grand U-Turn?
There is so much to say about so much that it all sounds the same as what’s already out there, even if the alternative voices don’t get the deserving loud speakers. So, I am listening, quietly and patiently, until I have something different to say here. Until then, I am writing on my own.
Anyway, it is winter and it is beautiful. I had missed the intensity of seasons during our time in California.
I love Albuquerque and continue to guard why (and hence my silence about it which can’t stay contained) so as to somehow protect it from becoming the next “it” city.
I am writing again (nonfiction), although not sharing here as regularly. I am excited about this book.
When I am not writing, I am observing, reading, thinking, literally slow-dancing with life and being grateful for our families and so much love and being able to live madly in love.
I wish you all a wonderful and safe season of gratitude. Thank you for still hanging around despite my lack of regular posting.