Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I want to be good to myself.

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
-- Annie Dillard
"I want to be good to myself."
-- the last line of Matthew Dickman's Grief.

Hello, my fellow travelers on this thing called life. I write to you late again... Another seemingly non-stop day. And thus, for the first time since I began blogging, I am going to keep this one short. So I can rest and you can all read a little somethin' somethin' and then go about your bright, bright days...

Featured above is a photo of Matthew Dickman, a poet whom I met last summer at The Breadloaf Writer's Conference. I believe with every molecule in my body that he is the POET OF OUR GENERATION. His book, All-American Poem is absolutely stunning. Hysterically funny -- such delicate little observations, it's sexual in the "holy shit I can not believe he is actually writing this" way, and it is vibrant -- brimming with life, like the ripest apple in the world, and it is gut-wrenchingly sad. Like the loneliest child on the playground. I can not recommend it enough.

"I want to be good to myself" is the last line of MD's scandalously beautiful poem, Grief, which The New Yorker published last year.

When I was thinking of tonight's blog, I thought -- yes, it is SO important to make our lists and to check things off, to be brave and to make phone calls and to write letters, to stretch ourselves and to discipline our minds and bodies, to send carefully configured business emails and to take get new headshots, to "put ourselves out there." To fight for what we believe in.

But last summer, meeting and spending time with my poet friend, it reminded me, or rather without even vociferating it, he reminded me of living in the moment. Of "seizing the day, gathering ye rosebuds while ye may," to paraphrase the great poet John William Waterhouse.

And I frolicked on the green green campus of Bread Loaf with all of our mustard-colored dorm-houses, I wrote again like I did in college, like I did when I was little in my room, like I do around town with my leather-bound journal when I grab a moment here or there. I listened to MD read his poetry in formal and informal settings on campus -- my friend Brittaney and I called him the "Michael Jackson of poets." Damn he can read a poem to a crowd. I was in awe. Of his gift. And also reminded that as Annie Dillard said, "How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives."

So, my little blades, today I did not work on my memoir. :( Honest blogger stands in front of a virtual room full of "followers" and a la AA, copping to missing her day's purpose. Or one of her day's goals. Followers grow wide-eyed with disappointment and then forgive. They all hug. Hehe.

I did do my homework for Bekah. I did do my 5 things. I'll hopefully have my pics up on the blog tomorrow! Sooo excited to show you guys!

But... when I think of what Annie said -- I think, breeeeeeeathe, Kieren... gather ye rosebuds, spend your day -- spend it like a college kid again, observing, reading, writing, and living... As my friend Alison once reminded me, "We are human beings, not human doings." I think of MD -- his poetry like the most heartbreaking and promising story the world has known.

I think of the lack of cell reception on our campus in Vermont. I think of me dashing around in my car today. And I think -- loooove your days. Do what brings you joy. For every 5 things we do on our lists, we must always remember our days, our moments. Being young and healthy and on the cusp -- this is a moment in time the whole world would kill to feel.

So... I leave you all with this. Tomorrow I shall dig into the opening of my memoir. Figure out what the f it will be. Zoiks! And I will post a chapter of it here tomorrow. (They're short chapters, don;t worry :) And if you like, take a look. I shall do my 5 things. And continue to chip away at my DREAMS.

I shall also love, love, love my days as much as humanly possible. For only then do our dreams truly break open inside of us. When we love. And live. As if every second were a little piece of gold. Which we are soooo lucky to behold.

As artists, we need to be good to ourselves, take care of our souls. Trot along like the world is our oyster. Do our acting exercises, write our books, live our lives, our days, and then... the world will come to us.

Night, night. Love to you all...