I don’t write for this website much. I plead several knee surgeries in the last few years. Recuperation from surgery is taxing. Mentally it’s just exhausting. I’m about fourteen weeks out of the last knee replacement and have just begun to turn a corner in the last few weeks. I discovered Reiki helps. Who knew?
Enough of the organ recital. Thankfully, my surgeon informs me I’ve run out of knees to operate on. And thank you, I’m feeling and walking much better now.
Also, just to keep the idly curious informed, I’ve been working on a massive project with about fifteen other writers to create a history book on Bethesda Episcopal Church in Saratoga Springs, NY, a significantly lush Gilded Age building designed by Richard Upjohn, the architect for Trinity Church in Wall Street. With so many authors, it’s been a massive undertaking, but the end is in sight. For a home-spun effort representing both professionals, academics and a doughty bunch of parishioners, it has been a hugely rewarding effort and fascinating research. But perhaps I should wait ‘til I can actually hold a copy in my hand. At least now, after three years, that seems possible.
People who know me, and especially fans of The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale, keep asking me when the next book is coming out. Aside from the vast church history and two older fiction manuscripts of mine which need to find a publisher or agent, I have two other projects underway. One is about an elephant, a stuffed one, in the Adirondacks (obviously fiction). The other (also fiction) is about a woman in a witness protection program in Saratoga Springs who becomes interested in the history of the house where she’s kept under guard. I’m flying blind on both.
There’s a great poem from Jay Rogoff’s poetry collection How We Came to Stand on This Shore (River City Publishing, 2003) called “Driving in Fog” which aptly describes so much of what I feel when I write. He says “The road emerges out of nowhere/all ten yards of it—and runs straight nowhere,/the white lines stuttering. . .”
Like many of us, I write, or try to write, every day on whatever project comes to hand whether it’s my journal or a serious project like the church history or my own fiction. Poetry has not risen to the surface since The Three Poets did a reading last fall at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Here’s a poem I read that night that is an apt sense of how I’ve been feeling about poetry and the writing life:
POET FOUND DEAD IN RIPPED STOCKINGS
The Poet is found dead, road
kill it appears, her stockings
laddered out to here, up to there.
A great violence done, not all
by vehicle. She had not shaved
in some time.
Her bra, of cheap manufacture,
was so worn in places
the wires and padding poked through.
Her underwear—likely bought in bulk—
stained and over worn
in the posterior.
She carried to the last
an old leather briefcase, heavy
with books and papers.
The impact had split the seams,
sent pages and pages
out upon the wind.
No one could say if she’d been
Those men and women
who attended the body
cannot be said to be interested
in the flying papers.
No one seemed inclined to
gather to her the pages that strayed
into the neighboring corn field
which, had she lived, she would note
the way the stubble, broken, bent and tattered
still gave sustenance to the crows.
How the crows were set off against
the darkening sky
the dusting of snow.