Writing at my desk in front of a south-facing window, I could feel the chilly air beyond the glass. The neighborhood pigeon flock appeared in the sky, their bodies black against the grey clouds. I stopped writing to watch them swerve, swoop, loop as a group above the trees. Earlier in the morning, raucous crows swooped around those same trees. Their voices mingled into a noisy chorus that competed with the jazz station I had playing.
This blog post was created in a low-tech way, on a rainy Tuesday in Minnesota. Instead of sitting at my computer desk, which is perpendicular to the writing desk and faces a wall, I chose the writing desk in front of the window. Instead of clicking away on a keyboard (although that would come later), I chose my latest favorite writing tool: a Cretacolor Monolith 6B woodless pencil. The lacquer layer over the graphite feels smooth and cool on my fingers. I love the way the graphite glides onto paper without smearing under my hand. The rich, dark strokes are easy to read in the dim daylight of a rainy day. Its quiet shoosh as I write in cursive is far more soothing than the sound of keys on a keyboard that click in rapid succession when I type.
I’ve been bored with using technology lately. I love technology for many things – media that allows connection with people all over the world, the little light on my Honda dashboard that lets me know it’s time for an oil change, the insulin pump my daughter uses – but I’m aching to get my hands involved in daily tasks, to work in more tactile ways. This summer, when the coffeemaker broke (third one this decade, I think), I made the deliberate decision not to get another one in favor of making pour-over coffee every morning. I discovered I loved the ritual of it and it didn’t take up that much more time than plunking ground coffee into a coffeemaker basket and turning on the switch. I actually savor my coffee a little more now.
The same can be said for writing with pencil on paper instead of directly onto my computer. I can’t do my work well without my computer, but I can create first drafts of things without it very well and that’s part of what I am focused on right now. Creating things, brewing things, making things in a slower, more deliberate way. Finding what feels good in my hands. Feeling more grounded as a result.
In other news, I’m really proud of being co-editor, along with my friend and colleague Constance Brewer, of the latest issue of Gyroscope Review – The Crone Power Issue. This issue offers 50 poems by 50 women poets over the age of 50. As Connie and I read submissions over the summer, we were often struck by the kindness and excitement of these women poets to be part of an issue dedicated to women over 50. The depth and breadth of these poems solidified our sense that this issue was a necessary collection of voices with much to impart to readers everywhere.
Please check out the issue and find out how you can get a copy of your own at http://www.gyroscopereview.com/2019/10/the-crone-power-issue/.