I have two sifters. One is the kind where you squeeze the handle repeatedly to sift flour or powdered sugar; the other has a crank, that you turn. I like the second one better, though when I bought it, I'd forgotten I already had a sifter.
Usually, I'm too lazy to sift, just dump flour or sugar or whatever into the bowl before I begin mixing. Sometimes, though, I find I want to follow the rules, find I believe in the magic of sifting or adding the ingredients in a certain order (sometimes an order I make up).
I smell my daughter's hair spray, Suave Max Hold No. 8. She is off to see a movie with a friend soon, and I will struggle to sift through the notes I took during the two weeks of the MFA residency.
It was such an amazing experience, the residency. Everyone there (except for maybe two people) was thrilled to be there. Immersion learning. All poetry (or creative nonfiction) all day.
Now that I'm back home, I'm drowning in my own insecurity, and I worry that I'll never write another poem, that I'll fail yet another master's program.
It will be fine. I'm inputting notes, and as I input, I pull out lines of poetry I scrawled down while I was supposed to be listening. I need to shake off my sudden need to follow every bit of advice I heard during the residency. I just need to write. I can follow the advice during revision, you know?
I am a good poet, a good writer. I'm not the best, and I have a ton to learn, many ways in which I can improve.
But I feel as if I've stopped Being Open and Being Brave since I got home. Maybe it's just harder for me to be a student around being a mother than I thought it would be.
Maybe I'm still just tired. (and there has been a little drama that distracted me from work)
Today after my daughter leaves for the movie (and then goes to another friend's to play badminton with the friend and the friend's aunt), I'll pick up my house a bit, fold a little laundry, sit myself down in this chair and let myself write bad, bad poetry.
Once I get all the bad poetry out, I should start finding the good poetry. Right? I'll just dump the poems out instead of sifting them.
Oh. Ha. I made it work. I didn't think I'd be able to make the sifting image work. It's bad, though, portent of bad poems to come.
I'm kind of excited about letting myself write bad poems. Bad poems are healthy and healing. Bad poems are the beginnings of good poems.
Or so I'll keep telling myself.