Archive for June 18, 2012

The Week Ahead…

I always have trouble adjusting to real life after I come home from a writing retreat or a conference.  It’s like getting a taste of some sort of utopian world — where you have unlimited time to write and study and socialize with others who love the written word as much as you do.  I also admire those who can summarize their travels in a concise manner.  I feel like I ramble when I try to write about any type of writing festivities. 

Still, as always, (this is the fifth time I have attended the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival) the weekend was a blast.  A few highlights include meeting up with my old mentor/professor Judith Vollmer, listening to Martin Espada’s reading which included one of my favorite poems of all time, “Alabanza” and learning about the work of nonfiction writers Valerie Boyd and Natalia Rachel Singer. 

It’s actually Singer’s work I’m thinking about this morning as I type this post.  At her reading, Singer spoke about her most recent project, a blog Winter With Zoe,  that chronicles a year with Zoe, her dog dying of cancer. I’m paraphrasing what she said just a bit but she opened her reading with these words: “If you love a pet, you are destined to get your heart broken.”  I’m not sure why I’m thinking of her words this morning.  It’s a gray sort of day outside.  The rush of the conference is over, and real life is settling in.  I think it’s because her blog is uplifting, encouraging us to live as a pet would live, and that is to live in the moment, not worrying so much about the future.  I know that my own mind is always going 100 different directions at once, and most of the time, it’s thinking about the future — tomorrow’s class, next week’s writing seminar, Sunday’s poetry reading, Thursday’s car inspection, today’s doctor’s appointment — the list goes on and on, and that focusing on the here and now is a much happier and healthier place to be.