The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Just thinking...(Odds and ends)


I've been doing more reading than writing these past few days. I am unsettled, vaguely unhappy with the world in general, and, as usual when I am in this state, I have thrown myself into cleaning something. Did the laundry, tidied up several areas, and broke the belt on my vacuum cleaner. I don't have a spare. That means it is time to quit.

I browsed around the web a while, trying to find something to focus on that wasn't wet, hungry and righteously furious, and made notes of things to research and eventually write about. Look for a rant in a day or two -- I just want to check facts before I toss them down here.

I found myself defending an earlier blog entry, Getting Better - posted last week - to several people over the weekend. One person told me it was morbid. Another said she was "deflated" at the idea that the possibilities were frightening, and suggested I add the word 'irresistible' to that line. I am not arguing that this is how these people see the poem - but I felt the need to defend that, at least for me, the poem is accurate. And no, the word irresistible has no place in the poem, because it (the possibilities) is entirely resistible. I resist it all the time. Still working on why -- but the fact of the matter is, if the possibilities were, in fact, irresistible, I would be well, not merely getting better. He who thought the poem was morbid prefers Helen Steiner Rice, and sends me e-mails with all the saccharine encouragement links he can find. I tried to explain to him that sometimes reality is an inspiration all by itself, and the act of recognizing improvement in one's condition is certainly an encouragement.

But that's what poetry is, and what it does. Each of us has a magnificent set of filters in his/her head through which everything we experience, everything we hear, everything we read passes. These filters are our own, based on everything we know and experienced up to that moment. What passes through these filters and reaches the brain becomes what we know now, this minute - and becomes part of the filter for the next input. It's what makes us individuals. It's why I can write a poem about someone with a great childhood not understanding mine and have a listener come up to me, after a reading, and say he knew exactly what I meant - he and his lady friend were of two different geographical cultures. That's not what I wrote about -- but that is what he heard, how it filtered down to his brain. I took it as a compliment that he could translate it into his own life.

I suppose I should remember all this when I discuss politics or ethics or much of anything of worth with anyone.

Sigh.

But I am human, and I forget.





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