Prove Me Wrong
I suspect that our lives have all changed greatly since the election. Here inside our family home, the worldview has shifted to the micro: an inconceivably small fingernail, the few minutes between nursings, the tiny fluttering heart that beats inside our healthy baby boy.
Twenty miles away, at the base of the Black Mountain range we live in, the forest is broken, charred. Blackness and ash where lush greens and browns once rooted and thrived. The wildfires in North Carolina that made national news this fall humbled us all, and though their fervor suggested something epic, apocalyptic, they also had the affect of making those of us nearby feel very inconsequential.
Meanwhile, a King has been crowned in our nation that seems merely as mature as a toddler, yet with the powers of the gods. That sentence is loaded; which is the toddler? Our new King, or our populace (present company included)? I long to have my worst fears dissolve, unfounded. I beg to be completely surprised by the next four years. Never before have I so heartily wanted to be proven wrong.
And yet, as I write this after our Winter Solstice, I know that reveling in these microcosms of love, devastation, and fear that both uplift and silence me with thoughts of feeling small, that lightness is already surpassing the dark. Already, days promise more than nights. Already, artists and leaders are reacting critically and deeply as we reel in our planetary rotation.
To that end, I am going to focus on the light, and right now that means looking ahead to the New Year and what I can uniquely bring to it as a writer, teacher, and mother. As a writer, I will bring generative energy into drafting new short stories for a collection set in Appalachia. As a teacher, I will bring learning opportunities that encourage writers to imagine and revise toward real and pertinent connections for our time. As a mother, I will commit to mindful parenting, balance, and boundless love.
If you’re reading this, that means you’ve stuck with me through many changes this year. From my desk, from my heart, from these mountains overlooking it all–thank you. Please let me know how I can support YOU in 2017. Is there something you’d like me to teach in one of my courses? A topic you’d like to see explored on my blog? Reach out. I’m here. I’m ready. And with any luck, I’ll get to see you in person or work with you via distance at some point in the New Year. It would be my pleasure.
I’ll end with a few items of business: An array of in-person and online learning opportunities are now open for registration via Interlochen College of Creative Arts, where I teach four times a year. Notably, the college has launched a new Deep Revision Retreat which I dreamed up and created. Learn about all this and more on my events page right here.