8 minute memoir - Quiet Moments of Joy

This year I am attempting the 8-minute memoir spearheaded by @anndeecandy


Last year, I wrote a poem every day. The goal was for the poems to serve as a holding place for my writing habit until I was able to pick up my "real" writing again. I had a new baby. I'd moved to a new state. I didn't want to lose the careful habit of writing every day that I'd worked so hard to build over the prior ten years, but I also knew it was a time to be gentle with myself. So, I committed to write one poem every day. If I wrote more than that, great. If that was all I could manage, great.

Today, I pulled together a document with 365 poems. In the end, they were not always written day by day. There were some days I forgot. But I always went back in my mind and searched for the "one thing" from that particular day that I needed to write my poem about. And in this way I have 365 poems for 365 days.

Initially I told myself that I would write a poem for one joyful thing each day. Me just having a baby meant I needed to proactively search for joy. Post-partum baby blues and winter are a bad combination. But there were days I couldn't quite pull the joy out, instead I just pulled out the most meaningful moment of the day, the moment with the most feeling. And that had to be enough. There are some days where sorrow is joy. It is joy because it means you can feel.

When I think of "Quiet Moments of Joy" I think of my poems. When I read them, I can go back in time and see the circumstance that made me feel that way. I am not sure my poems are any good, or that they would ever belong to anyone else. There were moments when my poems were barely poems. They were just thoughts, vomited out onto a page. There were even days when I just checked it off my list, not carrying if cliches and poorly-written lines took the day. I had come to the page. I had written. However badly.

There are some of my poems that make me proud. I think they carry feeling, and that is the point of writing. To me. To make another feel and experience the thing that changed you. Quiet moments of joy are the real things in life. All those big moments are fun. And they can certainly knock your socks off. But it's in the small things that the truth lies.

Today I compiled my poems. I did the office work. I numbered them. Separated them from one another. Soon I will look closely at them and see what is worth pulling out. Perhaps not all those nature poems I started out with. Perhaps too many about moments with my children. And perhaps a few that will touch quiet moments in others, as well.


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