While cleaning out some piles of papers in my office this morning, because tossing and purging is all I seem to be capable of this week, I came across the one and only sonnet I’ve written. It was a writing exercise in my first poetry class during spring 2013. I thought I would share it here now because I still struggle with the same digital distractions to my writing that I wrote about back then, maybe even more so. I bet you do, too. And if not, will you please share your tips for how to avoid it?
But first, why all the cleaning? A friend says she’s cleaning been out, too, and that it’s a reaction to the anxiety of the election. That we are turning, at least in the immediate aftermath, to things we can control.
“We are looking to restore order to our world,” she says.
It’s a wise observation.
I’ve also been turning to community, both real in-person gatherings (a peace rally, a church service, my poetry group) and on-line, in Facebook groups like Pantsuit Nation. Along with the purging; hugs from new friends, old friends and strangers; it’s the stories I read at my desk on Pantsuit Nation that have been my lifeline for the past two weeks. They are a courageous, articulate, intelligent and insightful group of women (and men) with loads of ideas for the hard work ahead. It’s also way too easy to go down the rabbit hole and not get started on that hard work ahead. This sonnet kinda speaks to that, to the distractions that can knock us out of line and stymie us.
Overwhelmed by the task at hand, I wait.
Hold out hope that one day all will align.
The clock advances, I procrastinate.
Start, then stop, start anew. Stop. Waste time.
Inspiration sparks. Quickly snuffed by doubt.
Words formed in mind elusive under pen.
I know and know not what to write about.
Deadline looming, time gathers late again.
But what will I write? Look to distraction.
Easier to live through friends from high school.
One click, an hour gone. Screen addiction.
Weakness in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Fool.
Hour glass drained, I scratch a poem out.
Unpleased and pleased, my first sonnet I shout.