Talk to the blog.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other night and he said something about how "PEOPLE NEVER CHANGE." So I immediately said something like, "that's funny . . . I just wrote a blog post about how, actually, people can and do change. Continuously. You should read it."

He said something like, "I don't care about your blog. Can't you and I just have a conversation?"
At which point we did and it turned away from people changing and to other topics du jour. He's a fun guy to talk to because he's a button pusher and I'm just a giant keyboard of buttons waiting to be pushed. So I didn't think much more about the "I don't care about your blog" thing.

But . . . Oh dear. When I was reading the Sunday paper I came across this:

Like I said, "Oh dear." I'm afraid perhaps I've become that guy. But of course since this is my blog, and you're reading it, I'm going to take this opportunity to offer a defense. For one thing, my blog has an edit button and my mouth . . . well . . . let's just say I'd rather write an argument than have it with you in person. I'm comfortable with words when I can change them around, cross them out, and erase them until they're just right. I'm not at all comfortable with what's likely to pop out of my mouth. So that's defense part one.

Defense part two is a little more complicated. When I used to be a writer, my mind worked differently. I was continually listening, rearranging everything I heard or thought into lines that said something or sounded wonderful -- it was like having a little word puzzle going in my head all the time, pushing the words and letters around on the board -- and it was so simple to take out a pencil and jot down the creation of the moment.

When I switched to art, my mind gradually stopped pushing words around and started pushing images, but making the images into something concrete was much more difficult and certainly less immediate. I can't explain it -- I just really missed the words that had been my companions from the time I was quite a young child (I started my writing career in 2nd grade. Unfortunately it ended a year or two after I graduated from college. That's when I started my affair with fabric).

So once I knew it was out there, how could I possibly resist the allure of a blog?

As a child, I was quite used to adults taking an interest in my writing. I actually started a "poetry group" (a club, basically) with a grant from the Utah State Poetry Society.

My folder from the weekly poetry club

We met after school once a week at the homes of a variety of lovely older ladies. They seemed ancient to me at the time -- I'd like to go back now and figure out how old they actually were. To a fourth grader, it seemed like about 85. I hope it wasn't 50. Anyway, these ladies fussed over our poetry and hauled us to the society workshops and banquets and such, and it was pretty cool. I actually learned a great deal -- I could write an acceptable sonnet or villanelle by the time I left elementary school.

Once in about 5th grade, my parents were having some friends to dinner and my mother said "Susie, why don't you get your new sonnet and read it to Mr. & Mrs. Blank." So I did (I still have the original ripped right out of the composition book, but on the off chance you want to actually read it, here's a copy from the typewriter.)

Yes, I know New England isn't a state (I'm no genius but I'm not Sarah Palin) and I can think of about a dozen ways to take out a red pen and fix that sonnet, but I'm not going to start editing my elementary school writing now, am I? I don't think that would be "normal" somehow. . .

But back to the public reading at the dinner party . . . embarassing, right? For me and for poor Mr. & Mrs. Blank. Looking at it now through the lens of a mother, I realize my mom was probably just proud of me and I'm sure I've been equally annoying about my own kids -- it's what mothers do. But with my poetry, things like that happened all the time, and I'm sure everyone was quite tired of it by the time I grew up.

The point is, although I finally stopped introducing myself like this:

"I'm Susan. And I can write a sonnet!"

I'm afraid now it's switched to something like this:

"I'm Susan. And I just wrote a blog post on that. You should read it!"

When my mother read the last post (about the quilting thing) she sent me an email, thanking me for my "smart aleck remarks". She said "I've been waiting my whole life for your father to say something serious." (So I must come by it naturally?) But I didn't even think I was being a smart aleck. See? There are a lot of ways to annoy people with my blog.

So here's a blanket-blog-apology. To anyone I have, or will, annoy with my blog, I'm sorry. Thanks for reading it even when I annoy you.

But more importantly, thank you to Al Gore for inventing the internet, and to blogging for once again changing the way I think. I'm pushing words around, and it feels so good to be home in my own head. Why did I take such a long vacation?

On Saturday, I went to a movie by myself and I literally ran to my car in the parking lot, searching frantically for a piece of paper so I could write down a poem. AAAHHHH!!! That felt so good! Would you like to read it? (I figure no one else is going to publish it, so what good is my blog if I can't publish it myself?) Here it is:

Wow, now I'm doing it again. "Hi, I'm Susan and I publish my poems on my blog."

But I promise never to come and read my poems at your dinner parties.


Jake and Chelsea said...

absolutely lovely, in all respects.

i've only written a few sonnets, but i do sometimes hurry to write down a line or two...i won't talk about the poetry i wrote while taking that controversial Ambien CR...

susan m hinckley said...

I believe there is a disclaimer on the ads about engaging in "behaviors" with "amnesia for the event" -- they didn't specifically mention writing poetry, but I hope you saved some because I've talked to you on Ambien and it's pretty darn entertaining!

Amelia and Justin said...

If I beg, would you please come to dinner and read your poetry? :)

susan m hinckley said...

No. But I will disco dance.

april said...

awww, thanks for the new england fall loving. glad you are having fun with arranging words again as all of us are the beneficiaries.

@amelia - you must get footage of disco dancing as i seem to remember susan was unable to "locate" her own footage.

april said...

just wondering if i should have put quotation marks over the word "footage" rather than "locate."

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