French Poetry

I love the French Romantics. Who doesn’t? The first volume of poetry I ever bought was Les Fleurs due Mal by Charles Baudelaire. Forgive me if I have butchered that spelling. I spend more time inside of that book then I do on the cover. But it was my first favorite poetry book. At the time my parents didn’t want me spending money, or wasting money as they saw it, on books because anything that could be got for free at the library shouldn’t be bought. But I was at a Barnes & Noble and saw Charles Baudelaire’s book and fell in love. I hid it in my dresser drawer under some clothes and kept my little secret for a long time. I used to take the book out after everyone in the house went to bed and read in the dim light.

Baudelaire isn’t the only French romantic I love. He’s just the first one. But what I know next to nothing about is contemporary French poetry. I don’t know what the French are writing about. Or more importantly, how they are writing it. I might be missing out on wonderful poetry that I would absolutely love because I haven’t read any poetry from France written after about 1900.

I think this book will be extremely educational at the very least. And if I find some poets I like it could really spark my creativity and lead me down some new paths for my own writing. I am looking forward to digging in this week.

 

My Poetry Journal

The book I am currently writing my poetry in. I have written about 70 poems inside. I like filling books with creative writing. It is a way to measure the productivity of my creative life. Selecting beautiful journals makes my soul sing and my mind tingle, so it is also fun to amass gorgeous journals. I actually have several journals already and I use most of them for daily logs and Diaries. This is the first time in a long time that I have been handwriting my poetry. It seems to affect my mind differently than typing my poems. Typing poems is great because you can do it on the go. Where ever you have your phone you’re all set. For several years now I have typed all of my poetry on my phone. I seldom work on the computer. What I need to start doing is bringing my poetry book with me in my knapsack purse so that I can write hand written poetry on the go as well.

As the book starts filling up my husband types up my poems for me. Then I begin to revise them and post them. Then I do Some experiments with them.

 

Pike’s Peak

Today my wonderful family and I drove to the top of Pike’s Peak, a 14er in our town, Colorado Springs. The views were breathtaking. We stopped at a couple of pull offs and got some really pretty shots, and we spent a little time at the shore of the reservoir.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures at the top because there was no view. There was thick cloud cover at the top. But I got some other pictures of the family and a couple of other nice ones looking down from various points on the drive.

In the Desert

The red design of undefined,
undeniable desert repels touch.
The curvature of the dunes
the body of a woman rewriting
an unslakable history.

Walk five miles.
Walk ten.
Water is a cross you will never bear.

In the bare heat I shiver,
my nakedness known to the sun,
x-raying my barren dress.

Social Media Detox

I turned off all social media for 8 hours today, from 9 to 5. It was definitely an interesting experience because it has been so long since I have been off social media.

On one hand it kind of exhausted me and gave me some anxiety. I’m a person with a mood disorder and an anxiety disorder and the truth is I find it hard to be in the present moment all day long. The sense of hyperfocus makes me uneasy. And it’s very tiring. It turns out I’ve been using the senseless dopamine jolts of Facebook and Instagram to regulate mood and anxiety. Never a good idea.

Overall though it was quite wonderful. I got extra housework done. I painted and photographed the paintings. I blogged. I read Bible stories to my daughter, taught her about praying, played her bowling game with her, and we pretended we were sailing on a boat together. I also took her out in the yard to play some wiffle ball. In the morning we did homeschooling.

I read articles and I’m taking an interest in more blogs than I already do, and then print Publications like the Atlantic. It’s been awhile since I’ve read the Atlantic, or Creative Nonfiction, Time, Psychology Today, and others, and I miss them. I’ve been so focused on the web that I have forgotten about other things. It is time to pull away from constant web interaction in focus on reading quality content. Not just statuses.

Even when I got on the internet today, I used it more productively to focus on articles and information. I think I’m going to get into historical research again.

Tonight I am settling in for some magazines and books and I can’t wait.

New Paintings

Maybe it is just because I am in love with the creative process, but I keep finding that in making one painting I am actually making multiple paintings. So I began to photograph paintings at different stages, only to realize that they are really separate paintings. With the way paint can be shaped and layered upon you can create so many different paintings on one canvas OR artist trading card.

New Painting

I have been working on my painting, my abstract painting and I have some images. These are more complex than what I usually make. I’ve really enjoyed creating them. It is one painting at different stages and from different angles.

Social Media Control

Every 5 minutes my phone pops up with some notification from a social media app. Sometimes it is Facebook telling me I have a like or a reply to one of my comments. Many times it is Instagram telling me I have a like or that people I follow have new stories. Or it is WordPress even, alerting me each time someone likes a post or follows me.

I have installed App Blocker on my phone. I just want to experiment with what it would be like and how my productivity would be affected if I blocked social media for a certain number of hours a day. I’ve decided to start by blocking Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I will still be able to blog on WordPress during the day by using a web browser to type my entries. I just won’t be getting notifications. Of course at the end of the day, when the app allows notifications to pop up, I’ll go through all my notifications and see what everybody is up to on their blogs and mine. But during the day I want quiet to create and clean.

It isn’t that I don’t care about this stuff, because I definitely do. ¬†With Facebook I like to keep up with people, and having moved across the country it’s a good tool to use to see what everyone’s doing. On Instagram I follow all sorts of artists, writers, and inspirational people and friends, and even people I’ve never met in person but I follow them and they follow me because we are interested in each other’s lives. I enjoy ¬†looking at people’s diaries. I have an art Instagram, a bookstagram account, and my regular one that’s a diary of my daily life. So obviously I like Instagram. I just feel that it gets distracting to always have these notifications and something to check on my phone from these apps. On WordPress I like to see my followers or likes so that I can check out everyone’s blogs. And I like to see who is enjoying my posts. But I will save that for mornings and evenings.

I just need to spend more undistracted time with my family. I want to spend more time reading, writing, and creating without dividing my attention. Maybe I’ll come out of this realizing that social media and all the likes or comments or stories don’t really distract me that much, or that I miss them. But maybe I will find that I have a cleaner and more organized mind and a better sense of focus. We’ll see.