Yesterday, I bought a copy of People magazine. Very out of character for me. I bought it because of this quote from Cate Edwards, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards. The Edwards’ very public break-up has been well documented in recent months.
Cate writes about the life lessons that her mom continually teaches through actions, such as:
“ … how to continue to live on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it.”
That line really resonates with me. Post-divorce, life is about how to live with the poor choices of others, minimize the damage for the people I love, and find joy again. What I hope I am doing, day by day, is teaching my kids how to go on after someone hurts you deeply. It’s not easy and I don’t always make the best choices. But life does go on. At times, it can even be sweet.
Speaking of sweet, I had a great Fourth of July weekend with the kids. Lots of time spent with friends, making this Independence Day extra special. My son said it was the best holiday ever, which is high praise from a boy counting down the days until Christmas. Fireworks help.
Monday was an extremely satisfying day working with my manuscript—I completely dismantled it!
I decided to add more recent poems. So right now it’s about 84 pages, which I will cut back as I continue to revise. Hard to explain, but by opening it up, I was able to see the collection in a different light. And for the first time, I can see how my long poem, "Misery Islands," fits into the structure. It was a breakthrough day for m’script # 2.
I’m almost done with Misery. And, I finished my BP oil spill poem (a pantoum) in time for tonight's writing workshop. Whew! I haven't worked that hard to revise a poem in months. And that is why I am not a formalist.
This weekend, I’m going on a mini-writer’s retreat. I’ve been pushing myself to have a good working copy of my manuscript so I can work on it this weekend. Looks like I will get there. Woo hoo! More on the retreat to come.
Are you currently revising a long poem or manuscript? If so, tell me about your process.