Into the Dark, December 15

Every year at this time, I feel the anxiety and restlessness begin to rise within me, and the cold settles into my bones. Every year, I need to consciously ease my spirit into the season. This year, from the beginning of December until Epiphany, I will set it down here on the blog. May we journey into the darkness with intention and tenderness.

This week in Creative Writing class, students have been presenting poetic forms of their choice, and we’ve been exploring writing in each one. I particularly love working with poetic forms and ideas that fracture meaning by re-arranging words, like in Billy Collins’s joke form, the Paradelle, which uses two repeated lines, and then re-mixes the words in those lines. Abstract poetry, too, often makes use of fractured and oddly mixed words to create a sense of meaning that transcends the direct line of thought. As intentionally goofy as Collins’s form is, it does something sort of exciting to the brain to shift words around and break up their linear meaning.

Habits and rhythms can become ruts. When I have my winter blinders on, trudging through the muck of dark and cold just to get through it, I find that the linear tracks I am making sometimes become deep and worn ruts, making it hard to find meanings in the days and moments other than the ones that make the direct and prosy sentences of my days. I need to rearrange things on the pages of my days, step out of the worn tracks, break the sense of the sentences, shift the meanings. Add a new thing today, even if it’s a new stretch in my yoga routine. Drop another habit, perhaps the quick check of email or FB when I get home from being away.

Here is an attempt at a Paradelle. I’m not sure if it works to put serious thought into a joke form, but it feels satisfying to use the fracturing of the the form to break up the mental trudge:

Walking through the haze of winter days.
Walking through the haze of winter days.
My feet step in the same weary tracks.
My feet step in the same weary tracks.
Through the step of haze, the weary feet,
my winter tracks in same walking days.

I’ve worn a rut both long and deep.
I’ve worn a rut both long and deep.
Confined myself to pooling shadows.
Confined myself to pooling shadows.
To a rut I’ve both shadows confined,
pooling deep both worn and long myself.

And made myself a hidden prison.
And made myself a hidden prison.
Of raw endurance and force of habit. 
Of raw endurance and force of habit.
Force. Prison. Endurance: myself of raw,
and made of hidden and a habit.

Winter and a force of  endurance,
walking in a haze, same feet, shadows:
the raw and hidden habit, long and confined,
both to step through the weary prison rut
worn tracks of my pooling deep, 
I’ve made days of myself. Myself.


Gratitude List:
1. Long, deep mornings to write
2. Tree-shadows against the sky
3. Hunger that wakes me up
4. The way my students react with a natural aversion to injustice in literature.
5. Twinkling lights

May we walk in Beauty!


“How does a woman know? She listens. She listens in. Like light on waves.” —Margaret Atwood


“Every moment is a gift of life.” —Thich Nhat Hanh


“Only a fool knows everything.” —African proverb


“Note to self: If you want to have loving feelings, do loving things.” —Anne Lamott

2 thoughts on “Into the Dark, December 15

  1. I’m learning how to fracture words… Yes I’m learning how to write under water. Thank you Beth , I love your daily Chronicles!

    On Sat, Dec 15, 2018 at 7:18 AM Mockingbird Chronicles wrote:

    > Beth Weaver-Kreider posted: ” Every year at this time, I feel the anxiety > and restlessness begin to rise within me, and the cold settles into my > bones. Every year, I need to consciously ease my spirit into the season. > This year, from the beginning of December until Epiphany, I wi” >

    Liked by 1 person

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