Monday, March 18, 2024

When is it too much and too little

When it is too much, and too little, and everything in between.

So, there is a project I was asked to do before Thanksgiving, and it has stretched out through what was inarguably a very long, dismal and stressful winter, which could have been worse, and we were so glad that it wasn't.

And I have not done the project.  There have been several small attempts, one large attempt - and a lot of thinking about it and being tangentially frustrated about not doing much on it at all, and not feeling like I wanted to, either.

So, when is too much.  I tend to be a tenacious person about some things, and not at all - at all - about others.  I did try to say I wanted to pass the project on to some other person before - but the project's owner said they still wanted me to do it.  So I kept it, and Mark says it is just too much worry and frustration.  Perhaps, it is, for there will be no return benefit except saying that I actually got it done - it is not for money or for fame, but just what to someone else might be a few turns of the wrist and there - you're done.  

It would be so much simpler if it was like the first project I did for them (perhaps)... that was 'I'd like something like this - it doesn't exist - can you make it?'  This is : Here is the item, go make something exactly like it, the same size, the same look, I know you'll do a good job.  I find, that specifically, is something I'm not good at.  I am not one to replicate something, my perfectionism says I'll never do it.

So I procrastinate.  I attempt and fail.  I get frustrated and then it colors all of my other projects with the feelings.  And of course, I know if I did succeed it would do the same - color the rest with accomplishment... if I do not, and give up, it will remain in the back of my mind.  It is a skeleton I can do not enough good with, and even as a success it would be a three penny postage stamp.  What does that even mean?  I'm not sure.  I've been reading a lot lately, but in tiny pieces here and there and everywhere, and it is like a thousand birds in my air, lyrics, thoughts half-flown, and coming down in the field around me hoping to make some sense as I walk through picking up sheaves.

See what I mean?

Oh look, a rock I found, on a walk in the sun yesterday.  It looks like the ocean.


And poems too hot and fresh to have been trimmed yet, just because.  



the dark green ink

it beckons

with a swirl in the bowl

but only in my mind’s eye

because the darkness

is beset upon the morning still

and the sunrise, when it comes

will be full of bustling

and the dark green ink

will have to wait again

in it’s bottle, unspilled

like my thoughts, unspilled


I’m not the only one who used to

lie out in the snow as a child

after pulling some sled up the hill

and coming back down

leaning back and throwing out my arms

there in the cold and the snow

staring up at the big wide sky, feeling alone

and wondering how long it would take

to freeze to death

I know I’m not the only one who did this

how many do this more than once or twice...

And I think I do it in my life with other things

we lie for a time out in the cold

against all natural instincts, it would seem

until that thing within us clicks over, urging

that we get up, and seek our homes

whether they be of body, mind, or soul

that place our feathered things retreat to

to sit by the fire and revive

and then – we appreciate the warmth all the more


You’re such a good girl, she said

you never want anything

but oh, how I wanted things

sometimes so hard that they tasted like the blood

from biting my tongue

but they were not things I could ask for

few of them could ever fit in my hand

and always, always, they would be taken away

somehow or another, I learned early

that nothing is forever

everything is always changing

and those things I truly wanted seemed

just beyond my grasp – intangible

until I learned, through much effort

to hold them in my eyes, and my heart

to weave them into those inner webs

and labyrinths that defy space and time

..and then, the tides rose and carried me away

and I was the boat, and the waters, and the moon


There are always echoes in here

words to string together, this way or that

all the things said, and unsaid

from this morning, from three years ago,

there is little rhyme or reason

I try to connect the dots,

draw stars and equations around them

not enough paper, not enough ink

not enough thread, to sew it together

I turn on music, to try to drown it out

hum along, sing familiar words

but other words, other times, other places

continue to vibrate

in the in-between places of Memory

where Time is not the rule

one box always opening twenty more

a million scattered keyholes

and so few keys

I try to pick them up like tiny beads

that get stuck under my fingernails

I try to line them up like thin steel pins

to stick them all in place, but into what?

They continue to tumble loose, and rattle

against this box that is my brain

Heart Take Wing

There is only so much

you can choose to say

the rest is up to the heart

may it take wing

and sing to you


And when all your years

you believed that the overload

of your senses meant

that you could not handle it

that you must run from it

put on your flat mask

pretend it was not there

like trying to ignore the rain

you can do it – stand there drenched

and be miserable for all to see

run for shelter each time it starts

or you can dance in the downpour

look for the rainbows – prismatic glories

and feel your limbs swimming

watch the drops fall from your fingers

and trace the holes in space as it

bounces off of everyone’s umbrellas

built-in for them – but not for you

perhaps, you are a fish out of water

that swims in the air

and without such rainstorms

where you would be?

I am amazed, also, and grateful - my book has sold nearly two dozen copies in something like a week.  Thank you.  I hope you are enjoying it.  Unspoken Things, Made Words poetry book by Marie Lamb

No comments: