Fleeting Temples is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. Ok. Let’s just say it. Being a writer is kind of like walking around undressed all the time. By which I mean anyone can open a book and read about your most intimate experiences, whether that’s your mom, your cousin, a woman in the grocery store. The president. Anyone. And if you are writing poetry or personal essay, people will assume everything you are writing is autobiographical, even if you don’t specify.
Thank you, Danusha! This is so delightful and wise. What you say reminds me of William Stafford's poem: Report From a Far Place
Making these word things to
step on across the world, I
could call them snowshoes.
They creak, sag, bend, but
hold, over the great deep cold,
and they turn up at the toes.
In war or city or camp
they could save your life;
you can muse them by the fire.
Be careful, though: they
burn, or don't burn, in their own
strange way, when you say them.
Thanks so much for this one. You're a gift of a guide. Love the idea of stepping out of the village into the forest. Perfect.
These are loving sharings -- from the heart of an amazing poet.
thank you! keep on!
This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I am working on poems and essays about my grief experience and it feels pretty darn naked. I question what I'm doing and why. But it seems that when I share my writing with other women in my situation (a small group but a group none the less) they thank me for speaking the same language they are speaking. That makes me want to continue on the path. It's all those others, those who haven't experienced the loss I write about, who question what I'm doing and make me think I should put my pen and paper and tears and pain away. Since it doesn't resonate with them they make me think it won't resonate with that larger world and I feel vulnerable and naked once again. And the critic gets louder and louder. Thank you for leaving a cairn ahead for me to walk towards.