We’ve asked questions. We’ve sought answers. And we’ve given instructions for “how-to.” This week it seems that most of our writers turned to poetry as a way to share what’s going on. And each of our writers finds a different way consider the human body through their words. As Jeanette Winterson said in Written on the Body:
Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights; the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like braille.
Our writers this week have each found different ways to explore bodies and the life we live in our bodies.
Monday: The Queer, Disabled Body
But in the last two years, loath as I am to admit it, my writing has amassed a small audience. And so when I think about who I am as a person and who I am becoming, it’s in the context of that writing. Writing is where I express who I think I am in a given moment. It’s how I take up space.
Erika did not publish a poem this week. (She did write one though.) Instead of a poem, Erika dug deeper into how being queer and being disabled intersect for her, and especially what that means during Pride Month. It’s an honest look at some of the physical and emotional challenges of becoming disabled and learning to live in a world that isn’t necessarily prepared for or welcoming to disabled people.
Tuesday: The Disabled Body of Someone you Love
Most times I cannot even feel him gone
I reach for him, clasping his hand
That strong right hand that did what his left
Could not, and I pull. He does not
Come back. I have his hand
His hand holds mine steady as I write:
Adam began three consecutive days of poetry at 2 Rules of Writing this week. As we approached Father’s Day, he offered us a look at the influence his grandfather has had on him. The poem uses ghostly, dreamlike images to honor the spirit of his grandfather and the hard work of creating poetry. One of Adam’s preoccupations in this poem is with his Grandfather’s disabled body which slowed down even more with age. This is a sad and troubling poem, but you can feel the love and hope shining off the page.
We also want to congratulate Adam on the publication of his story “Baggage” this week in Spoonie Press‘s digital magazine.
Wednesday: Celebration of Intimacy and the Body
Say a name
Not the same
On Wednesday we brought you a writer who is new to our list of 2 Rules contributors. Morgan Sloan shared a poem (“In Dreams”) with us. It is a celebration of the body. Through the words we experience the fragility and intimacy of new relationships and new connections and the power of touch.
Thursday: Memory as Feeling
Every time another city
Every time another school
It Pulses with the unwanted knowing
We brought you an additional new writer this week. Laura Viau is a Presbyterian minister and writer. In 2016, she was living and working in the Orlando area when the massacre at Pulse nightclub took place. Along with others in the Orlando area, Pastor Viau reached out to serve a grieving community. This year, on the sixth anniversary of the massacre, Laura honored legacy of that day–those who were killed and those who survived with her poem, “Every Time.”
Saturday: Caturday Questions about the Weather
Yes I get that it’s ridiculously ironic to be offering a critique of authors’ overuse of the Pathetic Fallacy in a column that regularly applies human emotion to cats. Can we move past that?
Caturday, as always, comes with a question from Erika’s cats. They are, of course, a rather literate bunch of felines. With the amount of time Erika spends writing (or trying to) they do have plenty of access to a keyboard, so it’s no surprise that they, too, like to try their
hands paws at storytelling. This week they’re talking about the weather–sort of. Read more about them, and answer the cats’ question with this week’s edition of Big Cat, Little Cat.
It may be summer vacation, but we’ll still have a visit this week with Ms. Lacrete. Join us as Josi takes us into the world of elementary school teaching. Maybe we’ll find out about what teachers really do with their summer vacation. Erika is still trying to focus on Pride Month, and more tales from her queer life. Adam will bring us something new, too this week. Of course the cats will be back for Caturday with a new question as well.
We want to thank you for your patience while we’ve gone through some website issues this week. If you were following us on WordPress or had subscribed by email, we suggest that you check and make sure that the upgrades didn’t cause any disruptions to your subscription. If you’re not following us already on Facebook or Twitter, this would be a great time to do that. You’ll find updates about our website there along with many other opportunities to connect with the 2 Rules community.
Concluding Thoughts: Joy, Poetry, Time, and the Body
As we head into a new week, with the summer solstice right around the corner, let’s conclude this post with some words from Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day.” Take just one moment this week to pause, to breathe in and really soak up the details around you that you might otherwise miss. Is the grass you’re sitting on especially pointy? Does your lemonade have extra pucker to it today? What’s that one little detail that you notice this time that sets this moment apart from all the others? One wild and precious moment. Maybe you’ll share it with us in the comments?
It has become tradition to divide the body’s interactions with the world into five domains, or senses. But we are each one body existing in one world. There may be difficulties, but there is no reason that those cannot live side by side with appreciation for all the good things we get to feel.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
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