(Before I get gone here– note that banner photo is by Fred Smink at Moondust Goldens, Nederlands– Moondust is Europe’s top show Golden Retriever kennel for fairly obvious reasons. Pure royalty, pure beauty. I know of stateside dogs of this quality if anyone is interested and they aren’t as pricey as one might think…)
I am reminded once more, not that it is of great significance for anyone else, that I have emotional whiplash from reversing twenty-five years of depression in about nine months.
I just sent out a new poetry collection to several publication prizes; before I got going on the long winnowing and sectioning of my work, beginning in January of this year, I set up this blog, joined She Writes, started a poets group on SW, wrote a memoir of an Italian adventure I had in 1973, drafted a spin-off– novel/novella– and now, nine months out, am feeling very overwhelmed!
Depression is like sargasso. There are inner voices that tell one lies, discounting the value of one’s existence and one’s art. I read the deplorable Virginia Quarterly story last night; if only someone had acted upon the ME’s behalf before he gave up. He was vulnerable, fragile, worn down.
Many of us I wager, have pulled ourselves back from that edge. I’ve made a decision to tell the self-denigrating voices where to go. Thanks to the loving support of friends old and new, such as Canadian poet Tom Wayman, and Minnesota poet Lyle Daggett, and especially Doug, Maureen, Gerri, Laurie, Patti, I have begun to believe in myself again.
I find it immensely daunting to see how many many fabulous writers there are out in the writing world. We are all looking for the same things– to be heard, to be believed in. I hope that I will have the distinct pleasure of thanking you with good news at some point!
I’ve started to take a hard look at the publishing scenario as it is now vs. what it was years ago. Everything has changed. Self-publishing is a valid option these days; it appears that if you have a strong voice you can market and sell your own book. How interesting, and exciting.
Even so, I decided to compete for several of the prizes; I felt and feel I owe it to myself, to those who believe in me and my work and in recognition of of the effort I put into producing three collections, earning three degrees, and honing my craft.
We all have to give ourselves permission to succeed, whatever that means in our own eyes. I have a doctorate in self-sabotage but you could fairly say I’m really tired of short-circuiting my own happiness and that at 62, it feels to me that it’s truly time to deliver on promises I made to myself when a starry eyed would-be writer at sixteen. That year, I had a manuscript typed and duplicated and I hand-tied it together with an illustration and gave it to people for Christmas.
In a word, that drive has always been there. I did my best to quash it as a hostage to misery and martyrdom, but it has resurfaced and is carrying me along.
We have these moments, in this time and no other that we can be sure of. Gifted people need to share those gifts, however they can.
Just some late night rumination from someone fighting back….