Spring springs and Carrie rambles

a bird in the bush

Spring. Spring! The last day of March break. My children occupied elsewhere. A quiet and completely empty house (just now). Not-so-deep thoughts. But persistent ones. I’m tired. My body hasn’t made a very successful switch to the time change. I’m listening to classical music, while wearing ear plugs; an odd but necessary combination. Ear plugs signal work-time. Classical music signals calm. This is ramble.

I am feeling, well, drained, rather. The big publicity push seems to be resolving itself, slowing, and I can stand back and breathe. And as I breathe, I think about that phrase “feeling drained.” And it seems to express an almost literal sensation. Because I’ve been pouring myself out, pouring myself into the effort of spreading the word about Juliet. At some point, I will have to stop pouring and start replenishing the well. Which, though not dry, seems to be creaking with complaints.

Patterns. Habits. When something isn’t working anymore, it becomes steadily more apparent, harder to ignore. And then the question is: what to change? and how?

One change would be to break myself of the BlackBerry habit. I’ve become accustomed to receiving new! urgent! exciting! messages throughout the day, and it’s changed my brain — I expect and anticipate the little ping. It’s like a hit of affirmation. I’m not alone! Connect, connect! Trouble is I’m starting to crave the ping even when I’m in the midst of seemingly interesting Life. Worst of all, the ping itself has almost become more meaningful and exciting than the message received. I am Pavlov’s dog.

A second change. I think it’s time to shift gears. To stop writing about Juliet, and start writing on/into/toward a new project. Even if the new project doesn’t take shape immediately. Even if I feel uncertain. If this is what I want to do, go on and do it. It’s been a real pleasure this week to shape a new poem, to see that I can make something with the kind of accessible tone I’d want to read. More of that! Please.

There is a third change, but I have nothing to pin to it. I want to pursue another goal (not writing-related) like the triathlon challenge. I want a particular reason to be outdoors. To run or bike or swim or yoga even when I don’t really feel like it. I am lacking in meditative space right now. I feel almost incapable of sitting quietly and resting my mind. It seems the only time that happens is when I’m working really hard, physically. Some writers turn to alcohol. I understand the impulse. One needs to turn to something. One longs for a mind at rest, at ease. I crave the spiritual rootedness that comes from discipline — and I find discipline in physical effort. It connects me to some part of myself that knows endurance and ambition and suffering, and is rewarded by it. Which probably sounds weird. And isn’t exactly the path of least resistance. I’m only half-heartedly committed to that work at present (partly due to being in rehab for the running injury), and I want to reconnect with whole-hearted commitment again. Stay tuned.

On poetry and saying you're sorry
Just have to say


  1. nancy

    Firstly, that is a stunning pic of the bird. Nice capture! This post also made me glad I don’t have a blackberry. And envious of running. The weather is beautiful today, and I hope you are replenishing, Ms. Snyder. I hope you are replenishing. Great post. (When you’re more replenished, let me know when I can come interview you? Sorry! HA!)

  2. Carrie Snyder

    Yes, the light is so beautiful in the photo.

    So are you ready for the interview? Ready to get going? I will make time for you, but of course!

  3. Heather

    I don’t know if this would be the kind of effort you’re looking for, but: serious gardening? It can be meditative, if you’re rehabbing soil or establishing above-ground beds it’s really hard work, and it clicks with your food interests as well.

  4. Carrie Snyder

    We’ve actually got four new aboveground beds in the backyard to fill and seed and tend. I like this idea a lot, Heather.

  5. Margo

    I was thinking gardening, too, since the results are so concrete. You could do an espaliered tree, too. . . heard that’s hard. . .

    THANK YOU for the way you described the ping – I don’t have a Crackberry, but name a computer function and it can become that way. It’s scary. I think I’m so great because we don’t have a tv, but good lord, I could disappear into my computer black hole and leave my real life behind.


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