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
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.