Friday, June 3, 2011

This is my poem

One of the pleasures of driving by myself, as I was this morning by very rare circumstance, is that I wasn't listening to the kids' favorite CD. Instead, I had NPR on and Garrison Keillor's lovely sonorous voice informing me that today is Alan Ginsburg's birthday.

Garrison (he may not know it, but we're on a first-name basis) read a Ginsburg quote that stopped my breath and made me think of all of you. I had to hunt it down:

Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.
-quoted in Barry Miles' 1989 biography of Ginsburg

I've been thinking about my blog so much lately, as it intersects with the stories I want to remember and the privacy my increasingly-grown little creatures are increasingly entitled to claim as their own; as blog-related opportunities increasingly are coming my way, but may dilute what I perceive as the pure narrative of my story; and as more of my my-time identity becomes enmeshed with the term 'blogger.'

Ultimately, whichever way I analyze the questions embedded in the above paragraph, I come to the same conclusion again and again: this blog is my love letter to my children. The writing and remembering is for me, but the sum-total preservation is for them.

So those thoughts rattled around my mind all morning, and then when I ran to Home Depot (linking on purpose because of the great story inside that link) at lunch to buy a piece for a doorknob, I listened to another piece on NPR, this one about the Helen Hayes awards. The Helen Hayes awards are the Tonys of the DC theater scene, and this profile talked about a special honor being given this year to an audience member, a dedicated patron of the arts. The piece asserted that "the last beat of the score is you. There is no live theater without you in the audience."

And that captivated my thoughts all afternoon, circling me back to Ginsburg's private thoughts made public.
This is more than a love letter, my little blog, because if that's all it was I could tuck it on scraps of paper in shoeboxes on dusty closet shelves. This is love letter plus.

The plus? All of you. My beloved community – like every week, you've warmed my heart, you've made me laugh out loud, you've offered reassurances and helpful suggestions and points of view I wouldn't have considered on my own. You've held my hand. Every week, I'm glad you're along for the ride. The past two weeks, I was more than glad – I was grateful.

We all do that – we lie in bed thinking the essence of the thoughts we didn't dare face directly in daylight. When I have the courage to make mine public, you always catch my fears in your arms and

it was just supposed to be a hobby, just a love letter. It's all that, which would be enough, but it's so much more. Let me close out this week by saying

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