Monthly Archives: October 2007

Free Write Fling, October 30, 2007

Lindells, Lake Linden August 2007

I am starting this free-write with a sign. I was sitting on the computer looking at photos I have taken on trips with Mike. Photos I have taken on trips by myself. This summer I took two trips. This was on my way out to Keweenaw Krayons. I meant the trip to refresh me but I was unsettled most of the trip, fighting migraines. Still, some of the best shots of summer camp from that trip. Looking up at this sign at Lindells I almost shifted to another era.

Looking at any photo, that is what we hope for. A shift. We want transportation to the place, the moment, the story. We want some escape of the present ordinary day to a time that was special. It might be  our memory. It might be the view of a photographer we have never met.

Lake Lindenis a lake-shore mining town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I wanted to stay. Spend the night. Get a sandwich. Sit in the sunny park. Talk to an old man sweeping the street. Have a beer at the bar late at night. I will go back, again. For on that day I was passing thru, pushing myself to arrive.

But I passed so many arrivals on that trip. No wonder I had a headache.

November 1st is coming–That day I sub-teach and appear as a featured poet at the Public Poetry Potluck. I am promising myself to slow down, stress less and if I am not as rehearsed as I want to be it is, okay. For I am going to just arrive.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: more paced, not as rushed, observant.

Free Write Fling, October 29, 2007

Funky Socks II 

“It was a day of unexpected events and funky socks. I bought two pair, Knee socks in black, purple, burgundy, and golden yellow, with three dimensional squiggle lines that are raised up and travel vertical on the socks. The alternating colors are horizontal socks. There is a lot going on in that pair of knee-highs. The second pair of socks is black with mod-looking daisies in shades of pink. There was a woman standing at the end cap of winter clearance socks and I commented to her all is well in the world if you are wearing happy socks. She asked if I too had received a chain-letter. I replied, no? And she explained that she had to send odd socks to a person and she was hoping to receive in return 36 pairs of socks :-) I told her my mother’s way of making good after an argument was to go to K-Mart and buy you happy socks, so since my childhood the best way to lighten a mood is what I happen to choose to pull onto my feet.”

–from an old blog post

I am starting the week with funky socks and that is how I plan to end it as well. This week started with stripes, knee high, black socks with thin lines of lime green, orange and purple. It is a spooky Halloween week and I can take some chances on socks. Be bold. Lime green socks with black cats. New black tights and a wild skirt. Who knows what I will wear come Thursday or Friday.

I am recalling the woman in Target (no K-mart in Marquette, Michigan), the one with the chain letter. I am curious how many pairs of socks came to her. Were they biz-casual or wild and fuzzy? How did they brighten her life.

I have been missing my mother. Recognizing signs of depression in me that I saw in her. Already, the grayer days of October have an impact. I want to clip pictures of white sand beaches and pin them on the walls of my Creative Cave. I want to keep panic far from my sock drawer, keyboard or paints.

Maybe it is time to give socks. Start my own chain letter. Show up on people’s doorsteps with bags from Target filled with fun socks. My Grandson is almost the age of finding his feet. His socks should be bright primary colors. I could leave gifts of socks on teacher’s desks at the schools where I sub-teach. I could take socks to nursing hoems and sing songs to ladies who stare at walls all day.

Maybe socks have come to mind because of a poem I edited. An old poem about my mother. She lay in a coma and I rolled socks on her feet. In the poem, yes. But also on an ordinary day at Munson General Hospital. Warm socks. Soft socks. Socks that could not hurt her, anymore. She was covered in splotchy bruises. Liver failing. Life was hard for my mother so she drank herself to death. I wanted to be gentle. No sense in judging matters. No sense in having grudges. Just the bleeps of a heart monitor and the hush of an end.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: Let’s head to the store to buy socks! Lonely. Sorting.

Poetry revision

copyright Kim NixonBeing seen like this by you …

I cannot imagine myself the independent
artist who wears easy flowing clothes and
struts with an air about her down
the 100 block of Washington Street.

I cannot feel like the eccentric grandmother,
graying hair, a copy of Yoga Journal,
drinking coffee and writing
poems at Dead River.
Healer, certainly not,
for today I lie broken in your arms.
Crippled. Trying to get over this part of me.
Any other day, I would be lakeside
meditating, a dance of martial arts
on rock near water, searching
for damselflies and waterfalls,
paying attention to my breathe.
Today, I lie torn, like
a garden after hail storm
a lupine beaten before seed pods formed
wondering if life can carry
another year.
I can only wrap my legs around
a small cherry tree with
third year growth rings,
attempt to feel rooted,
robins stealing fruit,
nest of starling chicks
gone after the storm,
conscious to the awful truth
humans do not mate for life.

copyright Kim Nixon 2007

Revision III., 10.29.2007

Free Write Fling, October 28, 2007

Purple Light, Candle Light

I swear every time I hang festive lights. They fall on my head and the tacks won’t hold. The cat gets in the way. The reach is just too far or too high. The furniture is a pain, clunky, bulky, tricky to stand on and too heavy to move. A strand goes out after hanging and down they come for a wire and bulb check. But here it is a couple days before Halloween and I have purple flashing lights. A pumpkin with a strobe light, carved.

And the candles.

After a few choice swear words, I am happy at my progress. Decorating in this home I begin to call “ours’ instead of “yours.” And it does feel like home. Decorating comes easier. Visions on wall color and where furniture ought to go are in my head—but I might now share them all at once ‘cause we are growing.

 And candles.

I begin to light them more often. Scent the room. Warm the air. Heat the moment. Close the door.

Next, I will hang tiny blue lights for Christmas and New Year. I picture us as Blue. Calm. Peace like the calm lakes of our travels. Not icy or tossed, rough or dangerous. More like silence and rest after years of being tossed with the wind.

Blow out the candle. Come here.

We will wake to pink sunrise.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: Romantic, festive, hopeful.

Free Write Fling, October 27, 2007

Giant’s Foot Park

Sunday and we start up the hill and turn toward Giant’s Foot Park. Out of breath and I forgot my inhaler so we stop to swing before heading up the hill. The white water tower looms as we wind round the hill, spying new homes thru the fall trees. Hearing the sounds of hammers. You comment how it is amazing that trails adapt to people building in no time at all and we are among the bottom lands, the willows and sound of water trickling to this small pond with algae that grows in small dots of bright green which float on the surface—now I know where I can go to populate our yard’s pond next spring.

Remember when I strapped on used cross-country skis and I could not keep up with you on these trails—We first practiced out in the flat field behind Bothwell. The home across from the school lit with thousands of bulbs and animated displays. I fell many times. You strongly surged forward smiling.

There was the time when we hiked right up to the water tower and looked over the horizon and the shore of Superior, a grander view than from the home on Craig Street.

I had been missing our hikes, holding hands, kisses under trees in evening dusk. But you saved me this afternoon from sluggish depression and nervousness over money. I have endorphins circling from the uphill climb and my breath flows easier as we return downhill to our winterizing tasks.

We’ll clean out the garden shed and store away summer. Pull out the snow blower. Prepare for the long nights–the mornings where neither of us wants to wake and travel to work in the dark.

I’ll remember the name of the park, Giant’s Foot. It is symbolic to me, holds meaning, but at first I am not certain why. Was it the leap I took when I met you–to chance Love, again.–to trust that the man I was holding hands with might be the same man holding my hand in 20 or 30 years? That by setting our footprints down in this wet autumn soil we can pass thru seasons, together.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: Romantic, Hopeful, Happy.

Free Write Fling, October 26 2007

Stop and Start on a Dime 

The radio disc jockey at Folk Alley talks of
damselfly and dragonfly ability to stop
mid-flight and hover.

He plays the lyric of Alex Bevan.

“Hello dragonfly
A hovering surprise
Right between the morning star
And this one fair sunrise
Caught in stopping time
Like you, my love, I find
A lovely thought that waits a moment
Then continues flying.”

A person comments on my flitting
from job to job.

I affirm to be taken seriously.
If I am not seen as an artist
how can I go on?

You, my love remind me insects flit
Flower to flower,
pollinate the garden.

Creation, blossom.
Stamen, pistil
and for a moment I am distracted
by my need to hover over you
sexual, driven.

All this encouragement
and commitment and still
I search want-ads as
my savings falls short of supporting my art.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: worried, glad that it is coming out wanting to be a poem, afraid.

Grand Boy, Great Daughter

Grand Boy, Great Daughter

Bonanza Falls

Bonanza Falls, Copyright Kim Nixon 2007

Bonanza Falls in Autumn 2007.

Ontonogan County, Silver City, Big Iron River.

All I want for Christmas is…

I have been spouting off about stuff! How we have too much stuff! How stuff piles up and becomes junk. How we need to get back to giving not gifting. I promise to use my talents this holiday season to give from my heart and with talent and thought. I promise to use supplies on hand when I can, and to use local artists.

Free Write Fling October 25, 2007

Like Stringing Beads 

I learned that you should feel when writing not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.

–Brenda Ueland

For 30 days I have participated in a Free Write Fling, and I am sad that it is coming to a close in a few days. I have been productive, and have deeply examined my needs, energies, and commitment to my writing while balancing work and family. I am quite satisfied. I have also been preparing for a poetry reading on November 1, 2007 at the Marquette Commons. It is a free Public Poetry Potluck. I am the featured poet and there is an open mic that follows.

I picked this quote to start my free write this morning as the experience of showing up and writing everyday—no matter what spills out—no matter if I am tired or sick, depressed, crying, or just too dang busy—has been like stringing beads one after the other. What topic will pop into mind today? How do I feel after the free write?

Symbolic representations of times of my life surround me in my Creative Cave and I am going to go out and buy some big wooden beads and a colorful shoe lace to sting them all to remind myself of the month of October, this wonderful autumn of productivity. Red bead—Green bead—Orange—Blue.

I want to stay absorbed in my writing and I am going to commit to write everyday until the end of the year (2007). I might not post them all to my The Dailies though. It is not that difficult of a commitment anymore. It takes about 30 minutes of my day to prepare settle in write and post.

Today the autumn light shines golden on the rooftops of the neighborhood. I spent a lazy morning watching the sun rise out of Lake Superior. I will substitute at the Ishpeming High School Library today. Tonight I begin to organize poems for the reading.

My focus has been on lakeshore and rivers, Michigan writers and the sense of place. I have been pulled into the landscape with my digital camera and not as many new poems stacked up as photos. But I am going to read some raw journals and talk on process. I am going to read from some other poets, too.

Here in Marquette we have been fighting Kennecott, as they want to open a sulfide mine. Water is blood. And it keeps us alive. As writers, bloggers, photographers, we have a responsibility to chronicle and document. Even if we are uncertain how to proceed, it can be as simple as picking a bead and stringing the first one.

So, here I am with my first bead in hand. I have tied a knot in the end of my shoelace and I am gliding it along. I will tack this shoelace and its first bead to the wall and take a breath.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.

3 words on how I feel about this post: Surprised at how the beads led to a new topic. Pleased at my progress. Committed.

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