Saturday, June 22, 2013

The 24 Hour Conundrum

I have been on this planet for 33 years 9 months and some odd days.  We're talking upwards of 12 thousand days.  And every single one of those days has consisted of a mere 24 hours.  This never changes.  We don't get to slip in an extra hour the night before an important work presentation or school paper.  Not even the night before Christmas on those pesky Christmas Eves where you've waited till the last minute to wrap the ten billion gifts still bundled in their department store plastic bags and sitting in a haphazard (at times dangerous) pile of unrealized Christmas cheer.  

There is no mercy.  None.  

And, no, don't you dare talk to me about Daylight Savings.  It's stupid.  It doesn't count.  Because where, on one end, they give us an hour, they take it away on the back half.  So.  24 hours.

It's not enough time.

I have spent today with one goal in mind.  Okay, that's a lie.  It's been a busy day and I had lots of stuff to do, important stuff, important-to-me stuff.  But, at the back of my mind, was the one thing.  I've identified the first of a handful of magazines I will be submitting stuff to in the next few weeks.  And I have one last round of suggested edits to evaluate, implement and/or discard before I'm ready to send the first selection of poetry out into the world on its own.  I have to do this.  I have a singular rejection slip sitting in a drawer somewhere.  It's getting old and lonely.  It needs friends.  But I'm sitting at more than half past 8 in the evening, and I haven't started.  Somehow, as it has so many times before, the day has escaped me.

I dragged myself out of bed at something past 7 this morning and straight into the computer to sort through the god-knows-how-I-wracked-up-that-many auto-save docs on my computer in search of the one poem I didn't get saved to the hard-drive before the computer decided to "update" things.  Yes, I know this is my fault but I feel better when I put things in the snotty little quotation marks.

Then I proceeded to agonize for an hour on the title.  Poetry group was set to start at 10 and I couldn't bear the idea of presenting another "Untitled" poem.  I really should number these things.  An hour later, I decided to move on to the even more agonizing analysis of the line breaks.  I talk about line breaks a lot, but they're important.  A line break gives shape, emphasis, can affect the way the poem is read, is heard, is said aloud.  They are important.

And let's just put it this way.  I got the line breaks sorted, but not the title.  Even giving up on the quest for titular greatness, I ended up racing for the shower, slapping on a rather mismatched outfit and I was racing...or driving the speed limit...on my way to poetry group with my two erstwhile offerings:  the one I had wanted to bring, and the one I knew I should.  If you write poetry, you'll know what I mean.  And, if you don't write poetry or even if you do and you still have no idea what I'm talking about, just call it crazy poet-brain.

We were a small poetry group today, but had great fun.  The community spirit of poetry group is a balm.  I do not rush groups, nor my own leisure; I am not fierce with my time, just envious of tomorrow's untapped stores.  Both of my poems were well-received and discussion may have sparked a title for one of my two untitled submissions...sadly not the one I'd spent the morning agonizing over.  

Then there was a pick-up at the parents' house.  I'd left zucchini in their fridge.  I'm on a zucchini kick.  I was not letting the squash go.  So I stopped in and visited for a good hour or so...probably a little more into the or so.  Have I mentioned that I don't rush leisure?  It was a pleasant hour (or so) sitting in the backyard and talking New York with my mother, poetry with my Dad.  What's to rush?  I had a whole 24 hours...

Long story short, think post office, lunch, a book-club reading selection to dig into, blog to write, frozen yogurt to eat...and why are you people not feeling sorry for me?  I mean I have to catch up with my sister-in-law in Candy Crush...I don't know how she passed me!

Long excuse short?  I'm getting all of my fun stuff done today.  Poetry.  Blog.  Candy Crush.  Visiting in the backyard with family.  So what that I didn't get the one thing done.  There's always tomorrow, right?  And, yeah, someone out there is probably being a wise-alec and pointing out that I've got a good 3 hours left in this day.  Except I'm writing this blog.  And then I'll be posting the blog.  And I should have another life in Candy Crush by then...


  1. Amazing how many ways we can find to put off getting down to what we need to do.

    I'm glad your poetry group was able to give you some support; I know the title dilemma, too.

    Keep us posted on how things go, Anna. xoA

    1. Thanks, Annis! I really appreciate your reading my entries...I always perk up a bit when I see I have a new comment from you! :-)