I’ll admit it: I’m a little nervous.
I’m pretty sure of myself when it comes to wry, silly, even editorial and philosophical (okay, that one might be a stretch) writing, but my creative work…well, I struggle with insecurity and self-consciousness. I’ve written stories since I was a little girl, but detoured through high school and college into editorials and literary criticism quite heavily and have only recently delved back into fiction. So much harder to disappear into writing as an adult.
But one thing I’ve learned in this life is that risks pay off. Maybe not every time, but lately my average has been pretty good, so I’m going with it. Plus there’s nothing like living a story. High stakes, high drama. One of my favorite mantras came to me courtesy of mountaineer and author Joe Simpson, who survived falling 150ft. into a crevasse after breaking his leg and being abandoned (unknowingly) by his climbing partner. Faced with starvation in the dark, and unable to climb out, Joe made the agonizing decision to descend deeper into the crevasse, gambling on the chance of an opening- and a way out- at the bottom.
“You gotta make decisions,” Joe has said about this critical move, which was the first of many that saved his life. “Gotta keep making decisions, even if they’re wrong decisions.”
Therefore I am taking the leap- or the fall, as the case may be- and returning to my first crush, way back to when I used to write stories about talking blades of grass. And lucky you, you get to see the story unfold.
So to begin, I’ll be jumping in blind with a poem I threw together over the past week. I must warn you- I’ve never been terribly gifted in the poetry department, and I probably haven’t let this one breathe as long as I should, nevertheless- risks and decisions…
But I’m twisting the blog poetry thing just a little to make it mine. I am instituting “Poem to Prose,” an ongoing series of poetry with a little something extra. Like my About the Roost page, each piece in Poem to Prose will meander about dragging a little bit of prose behind it to add explanation and insight, or just tell…well, the story of the poem.
Eventually, when time allows, Poem to Prose will expand into “Poem to Prose: Reflections,” which will be something else entirely. But that’s all I’m willing to say at the moment.
Yes, I know. Big plans. Big jump. Possibly a big fall. But I think I can claw my way back up, if I need to, even if I have to bottom out to get there.
*If you hurry over to Joe’s site right now, you’ll find me there, too. He was good enough to tweet with me this morning on a topic of no importance, but it made my morning, and then my evening, when I popped over there and saw my twitter handle in the sidebar. Indeed, I am easily delighted.
I highly recommend Joe’s book, Touching the Void, a detailed account of his ordeal, and the excellent documentary upon which it is based. Gripping and unforgettable story.