Monthly Archives: February 2015

Re: Leaving

For anybody’s who’s followed this blog, or who has spent much time around me, it’s no secret I’ve fallen for Telluride, and have seriously considered moving there. Within the past couple of years, I’ve gone there no fewer than seven or eight times, spending at least one night on all but one of the those visits. To be sure, the beauty of the place is one of its attractions. And because all my visits there have been directly connected to writing, it’s pretty much impossible for me to disconnect Telluride from being crucial to my writing. Even all of the locals I’ve met and have gotten to know are themselves connect to writing in some way.

Telluride's main drag. THAT sorta beauty.

Telluride’s main drag. THAT sorta beauty.

But, Salida has its beauty, as well.

But, Salida has its beauty, as well.

Meanwhile, here in Salida, even after living here for twelve years, I’m so far from where I wish my writing to be. So far even from where I expected it to have developed after just three or four years. Further, in a lotta ways, I’ve kinda stopped living here. Instead, I’m merely going through the motions. I don’t feel the connection to this town like I once did. Don’t feel a part of it, don’t feel much like one of the locals. This is all my own doing. Or, rather, my own lack of doing.  My life has become centered on the job at the hospital. I’m either there, working, or hunkered at home recovering from, resting up for, it. If I’m feeling apart from this town, it’s because I’m not taking any part in it.

I spent most of yesterday at a local coffeeshop. I knew a good number of the other customers and all of the employees by name. More than that, I knew each of them well enough to have engaged in a conversation, asking about their family, latest projects at work, the trips they’ve recently gotten back from. Also, while there, I saw the editor of the local monthly magazine, who gave me my first assignment of the year. In the previous paragraph, I said I, “Don’t feel a part of [Salida], don’t feel much like one of the locals.” Well, yesterday’s time at the coffeeshop belies that stated feeling. Chalk it up to selling short the effects of my having stayed here for twelve years. (Not that I’ve any tendencies whatsoever to discount the value of who I am, what I do.) I’ve accomplished more, here, than I typically give myself credit for.

I would love to be living in Telluride. But If I moved there, I’d lose so much of the good, here. Very likely, I wouldn’t even realized what I’d be losing until after I’d lost it.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, No [One] Is An Island

How Good Are You?

So, once again, I ran off to Telluride for a couple of days. And, once again, I was there for Talking Gourds, their monthly poetry gathering/reading. And, yup, once again, I was very glad to have gone, and I had a difficult time leaving.

One big difference, this go-around, was getting to spend some time with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, without there being some writerly thing bringing us together. We met at my favorite place in Telluride to have breakfast, and spent a good and solid hour and a half, discussing all sorts of things. For all the times we’ve otherwise met and crossed paths, this was the first time we’ve been able to spend more than a mere handful of minutes talking and being together.

Pretty much the full brunt of what got talked about revolved around poetry and writing. It’s one of the strongest things we have in common, so it was the easiest subject to discuss. Also, I got the ball rolling in that particular direction by asking Rosemerry a question, pretty quickly after she and I had gotten settled in.

“How does one determine the caliber of their writing?” I admit, this is yet another version of my wondering, asking, whether my writing matters. Well, it didn’t take very long at all for this question to be dissipated, kinda tossed aside, and moved beyond to other things. But, still, it was never truly abandoned. We flitted and flirted around it for the rest of our time together.

In a real and true sense, this question “doesn’t belong.” Writing is not a competition. You’re not going up against other writers, trying to surpass them. Each time you write, you’re to be as present as possible, remaining both aware and open as much as you’re able. All the while, as with every other aspect of your life, you’re to be fully and cleanly yourself. Crafting to the best of your abilities is the only caliber that matters. Where your writing stands in comparison to that of others’ is none of your concern. Also, to once again quote Michelle Kodis, “Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.”

So… how does one determine the caliber of their writing? By whether you’ve written (at least) to the full extent of your capabilities. And, once again, you’re not going up against any other writer/poet/essayist. Writing, all art in fact, isn’t a competition. Rather, if it’s anything, it’s a collaboration.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out