Behold the odes of March

View over San Francisco Bay

What I learned about my February commitment is this: I’m not built for fun.

Which is not to say I’m not built for humor, or irony, or laughter. But I’m not built for oblivious entertainment, gratuitous pleasure-seeking, or pain-numbing highs. I’m built for reverence, ritual, and occasional rapture. I’m built for shared experience with friends, even if that experience can be hard and friends sometimes die.

My idea of fun is a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon that requires months of training. My idea of fun is writing a novel that demands daily attention through three or four or five drafts (and at least as many years) to get it right. My idea of fun is being anxious and doing something that proves I can burst through the limits of anxiety and fear.

I’m leaving aside my quest for fun and making the month of March about reverence—for the grand and the mundane, the universal and the particular, the natural and the created.

And what better way to revere a thing than by composing an ode? So I’ve decided to write one a week. Here’s the first.

Ode to Tea

Sencha, Matcha, Genmaicha

Oolong, gunpowder.

I sip and sip throughout the day

you fuel me for my work.

Your presence looms so large for me

you creep into my prose.

My editor removes the scenes

of brews and pours and quaffs.

“Your readers will grow bored,” she says

and slashes with her pen.

Your warmth slides down my drying throat

exotic scents entice.

Where would I be if you weren’t here?

Half asleep, I think.

 

Ode to community: The Shuffle Collective

This is not strictly an ode, but more of an announcement. I’m honored to have been chosen to be part of the first cohort of literary residents for the just-forming Shuffle Collective, which describes itself as “a modern professional collective of the most inspiring, diverse and multi-disciplinary people working on projects at the forefront of their field.” Stay tuned for more news and follow me on on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates.

What everyday item or activity would inspire you to write an ode?

9 thoughts on “Behold the odes of March

Add yours

  1. OMG Audrey, this is your best post ever. I’m so w/you grrrl about fun! “My idea of fun is being anxious and doing something that proves I can burst through the limits of anxiety and fear.” A real LOL and identification moment!!! I even took the time to Shuffle. I like the idea of being part of a group you are part of. 🙂 It’s a weird time w/Covid-19. NY declared a state of emergency today. I have a cold, but am staying away from any public place lest I look like a dangerous carrier. So getting writing done, though it never flows as well w/a stuffy nose. Anyway, I’m really up for virtual communities at the moment, except my tai chi classes and the gym where ya just gotta be there! Thanks for a great blog post! ❤ Kathy

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    1. I am glad my words and sentiments resonated.

      Yes, we are living in an unsettling time. Just when we need human contact most, that very human contact may be risky. Maybe it will lead us to make better use of our technology…

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  2. Hi Audrey, thanx for the post, I enjoyed it. Tramping is one of the things I find fun too, although I don’t get to do it so much these days. I do get a good walk most days.
    If I was writing an ode I think it would be to the underside of trees.

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  3. I don’t think I could top your ode to tea, but I’ll think on your question. I like your word for March. Reverence seems like the perfect word to keep in mind as the drama of everyday life threatens to unhinge us all.

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  4. Hi Audrey – Enjoyed the post. I am not really built for fun either! My idea of fun is probably quite different from many people’s! I would definitely write an ode about coffee!

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