Sunday, December 28, 2008

Years Past, Year Present

I remember how insulted I felt when I first encountered the phrase "content provider" being used in place of "author." Changes were surely coming, cattle-prodded along matter-of-factly by trumpeters of all things digital, but I deeply resented the denigration of my creative work.

Of course there are many ways to be creative, digital and not. I didn't believe, even then, that all truly creative people belonged over here, on my side, while the heartless digital pushers belonged on that side. No, I wasn't so closed-minded as that. I was just sorry to see the further crumbling of respect for those who produce art. Art being, in this case, the (often) labored result of the creative impulse. The story/book/song/canvas/sculpture that resulted from that endeavor, held up for the world to see.

It has been a great sorrow to see the held object vanish into history.

I knew art would blossom online, eventually. But I felt the loss of what had been should be acknowledged. Many people mourned as I did, while digital-lovers mostly laughed. But that's what happens when an era passes.

Now I am more adjusted to the changing world, though it is still changing so ferociously fast that there is no end in sight--assuming anyone ever dreamed of an end. I am not very technically adept, so that puts me at a serious disadvantage in this new world. Still, I am very curious about how the written word will transform.

Books of some sort will still be written, of course, because we cannot seem to stop telling the story of ourselves. Barring horrible accident or disease, I have just enough time left to see young people in their new and ever-coming-newer digital lives. I have just enough time, I hope, to see art not only continue but blossom in it's new garden.

Probably, it already is.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dis Heart End

This afternoon it is raining, raining, raining. As evening has come the sky has moved rapidly from gray to black. And it's cold out.

In some ways, these are the kinds of days I like best, though I don't like to be out in them--catching a bus, say, or walking home with a bag of groceries. No, I like to be safe inside, the inclement weather making my hibernation a good, logical choice, a great idea.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The short days, night coming early. It's not for everyone, I know, but it is for me, maybe because the shortened day feels stronger somehow. Muscular and tightly held, but powerful.

That is the way a good poem should be, in my opinion. Though of course there are many wonderful poems the exact opposite, loose and flowing warmly across the page. I have been thinking about poetry lately, saddened because I rarely write it anymore. Though it is there inside of me.

I didn't realize my later years would entail such a struggle between time spent in necessary but disheartening tasks, and time spent staring at a computer screen. The disheartening tasks have come as a surprise to me. Not because they are new, but because I am newly impatient. I used to say nothing, in order to give my writing my full attention. Now, though, I find I say everything--or want to--and am just about unable to bear the incompetence which plagues certain aspects of my life.

So, writing a poem sounds good. Forget that which discourages me, turn inward, then fling the found words outward.

Except I'm so damn tired. That, apart from everything else, dis heart ends.