Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Sylvia Plath

Hello, hello, and welcome to the middle of the week, dear readers. If you are feeling a little run down or if Friday is feeling a bit too far away, I encourage you to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading and Ronovan of Ronovan Writes.

For my contribution this week, I have chosen a quote from the infamous American poet and novelist, Sylvia Plath.

4379Plath was born on October 27, 1932, in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Her mother, Aurelia Schober Plath was a second-generation American of Austrian descent, and her father, Otto Plath, was from Grabow, Germany. Plath’s father was an entomologist and a professor of biology at Boston University who authored a book about bumblebees.

Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book’s protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot parallels Plath’s experience interning at Mademoiselle magazine and subsequent mental breakdown and suicide attempt.

Despite her remarkable artistic, academic, and social success at Smith, Plath suffered from severe depression and underwent a period of psychiatric hospitalization. She graduated from Smith with highest honors in 1955 and went on to Newnham College, Cambridge, in England, on a Fulbright fellowship. Here she met and married the English poet Ted Hughes in 1956. For the following two years, she was an instructor in English at Smith College.

In 1960, shortly after Plath and Hughes returned to England from America, her first collection of poems appeared as The Colossus. She also gave birth to a daughter, Frieda Rebecca. Hughes’ and Plath’s son, Nicholas Farrar, was born in 1962.

Plath took her own life on the morning of February 11, 1963. Leaving out bread and milk, she completely sealed the rooms between herself and her sleeping children with “wet towels and cloths.” Plath then placed her head in the oven while the gas was turned on.

“I needed experience. How could I write about life when I’d never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die?”

— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

A little while ago I signed up to be matched with an Awl Pal through The Awl‘s newsletter. An Awl Pal is basically a pen pal with whom I would email back and forth getting to know a little about them and telling them little bits about myself. We’ve only written back and forth a few times, but it has been fun to hear about the life of someone who lives in a different place and works a different sort of job than I do.

Recently I asked him why he signed up, and he replied that it sounded Romantic and that he is also just plain nosy. Good answer. He asked me in return and in a moment of “thinking I knew my answer until I wrote it down and realized it was something else entirely” I learned that I did it because I wanted to do something new. I did it because nothing new has happened to me in a very long time, and I am desperate for something new.

I have loved the same girl for 14 years, I have worked the same job for over 10, and I have live in the same city of almost my entire life. A lot has happened in my life, but none of it has been very recent.

I wanted this. I wanted the slow and steady, the “same shit, different day’, and the comfort of knowing what was going to happen in every moment of my life. I have too much anxiety, I am too sensitive and too full of fear, to live in a way that at all feels like chaos. I chose this life, and I still want it too, but lately I have wondered if I might have gone too far to the safe side. There might be a way to add an element of surprise and novelty here and there. Not too much but just a little?

I think I may need some new experiences if I want to be a better observer, thinker, and writer.

I get the feeling my mind has grown dusty and stuffy. I get the feeling ideas are lurking around my mind that need to be shaken up and out. I wonder if a few new experiences might light up some neglected parts of my mind. I wonder if seeing something new, talking to someone new, or even just sitting in a new place to do the same things I always do might connect a concept or two and unlock a little potential in me.

I don’t doubt I could write something good the way that I am now. I just think a little push and pull, and little stimulation, and a little excitement, could motivate me, inspire me, and light a good fire under my ass.

No harm in that, right?

***

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Biographical information via Wikipedia and Goodreads

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Look at How You Love and Have Been Loved

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know I know, Mondays aren’t supposed to be good days, but let’s imagine for a moment that they are. Let’s imagine that Mondays are the days when we get to start all over again. Let’s imagine all the bad things that happened last week don’t matter anymore and that we’ve been given a second chance to do it all again, and this time maybe even get it right.

Monday’s are for making the changes we want to see in ourselves and for thinking about the changes we want to see in the world. Monday’s are exciting!

For me, this Monday is flying by much too quickly. I am late for just about everything, I’m even late getting this post up! I thought about just giving up and trying again tomorrow but that didn’t feel right. I felt I should still give my all and try to do everything I set out to, including writing this post anyway.

Better late than never.

“..it’s awful not to be loved. It’s the worst thing in the world…It makes you mean, and violent, and cruel.”

― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

This week I am finishing up John Stienbeck’s East of Eden and I just know this is going to be a book I am going to be thinking about for a very long time. There are a lot of lessons in it about love. About everyone’s need for love and what can happen to us when we grow up without that love.

What particularly struck me was the time spent on people who on the surface did look like they needed love but on the inside both craved and gave an immense amount of love.

Sometimes those people, because they hadn’t gotten the love they needed, acted in ways that prevented others from loving them easily. They felt inadequate and unworthy. They felt inherently bad and incapable of attaining the beauty and perfection of othere they saw getting the love they so desperately needed.

In contrast, the one who were loved easily grew to take it for granted and could not look past other people’s perceived flaws and mistakes in order to give love in return.

I have been thinking about how these scenerios might have played out in my own life, or how I might have acted or felt similarly.

As a child I was deeply sensitive and craved love from the adults around me. Unfortunately the adults in my life had their own problems and lacked the emotional capacity to give the kind of love I needed. I went through many fazes trying to get that love. I tried to be perfect, that didn’t work. I tried being bad, that didn’t work. I tried not caring, and that didn’t work either. Eventually I had to leave behind the people who couldn’t love me to search for people who could.

I found that love, and later the people who couldn’t love me found me again and they had grown and matured enough to try again. I am lucky, some people never get that love. I wonder how I might have turned out if nothing had changed for me?

I wonder how many people around me, people I have written off or not taken an interest in because they are not easy to be cared about or wanted, are filled with a need for love they’ve never had and love they’ve never been able to give?

This week, look inside yourself and look back into your past, all the way to your childhood. Think about all the way you have grown and been shaped by the presence or absence of love. Think about who has loved you and who you wish had. Think about the love you have now and whether it excites or scares you. Think about the ways you accept love and the ways you give it too. Think about the kind of people who think deserve love, and the ones you think don’t, then ask yourself why?

This week take a little time to look around yourself. Look at the people who aren’t perfect who aren’t easy to know, the people who might’ve made mistakes or who might be hiding behind a facade to avoid pain. Try to see the beauty in them. Try to see them as a person, a whole human being like yourself with all the same needs and pains. Try to find love for them, in your own way. Even if it is only a secret love.

It’ll keep you from becoming too cold and cruel.

As always, try to be the change you want to see. Examine yourself and those around you and adjust accordingly.

***

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If We Were Having Coffee // Am I Sad or am I Sick?

Hello dear readers, thank you for stopping by for coffee and conversation. I apologize for being a bit later than usual. My laptop decided to install about a million updates today and to take its sweet time in getting it done. I know humans make new advancements in technology almost daily, why is none of it is frustration free yet? Sigh…Please excuse my, my expectations are getting unrealistic again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would need mine strong. I feel tired today, but I can’t tell if it is my body or my mind that is dragging.  I can’t tell if I just need more sleep, or if I am depressed. It’s also possible I could be getting sick. I can’t tell if it’s allergies or the beginning of a summer cold. I hope it is allergies; everyone knows summer colds are the worst.

I am going to go with depression. Nothing serious, it’s just a bit of loneliness. My friends have been busy; my girlfriend has been busy, and my family feels fractured and yes, too busy. I haven’t had an adequate amount of human interaction and conversation to stimulate the mind. Also, whenever it seems people are too busy, I start to worry I never had any real friends, that no one ever really cared about me, and that my life is by comparison very dull.

I’ve had too much time inside my own head.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it isn’t all doom and gloom. This past week marked the 14th anniversary of the day we became us. She said yes and we’ve been together ever since. Through some very good times and some very bad.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve found someone to love and be loved by. I’ve found someone who knows me and still thinks the world of me. I’ve found someone who makes me laugh, helps me grow, and teaches me patience. She’s the kind of girl who hugs you and kisses your wounds when the world has driven you home, bruised and broken. She’s the kind of girl who sends you right back out with a swift kick in the ass and tells you to keep fighting. She’s been there for me when I had no one, and she loved me when I had nothing to offer her but my love in return. She’s amazing, and I’ve had the privilege of spending the past 14 years with her. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all the happiness you’ve given me.

I wrote this for her on Facebook, and I admit I felt pretty proud when she told me it made her cry. I meant every word of it, but I wish I could write something that told people what 14 years with someone feels like. I love her of course, very much, but there are other feelings. Sometimes I am angry with her, and sometimes I am hurt by her or even, in my anger, wish to hurt her too, which makes 14 years sound like something bad.

I think I mean that when you first love someone, there is only love, and that feels limited and fragile. When you grow with someone, there are other feelings, all the feelings, and it feels more secure. It feels bigger and stronger, and it is more beautiful than you an imagine when you think love and perfection is al there is.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am having a hard time doing anything but read East of Eden by John Steinbeck lately. I am nearly done with it, and I’m feeling sad I will have to let it go but also accomplished for talking the big thing.

There are parts of the book I don’t care for much, but I am enjoying the way it was written and the mirroring of the oldest biblical stories over and over again.I am not religious, but I do find the stories and lessons interesting. I especially like when they are updated and written in a time closer to my own. I like when the stories and lessons are made so that I can apply or compare them to my own life.

I’ll, of course, write a proper Short and Sweet Review when I am finished.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my driving class last week went very well! I told the guy about my fear and that it was the reason I am 31 years old and still haven’t gotten my license. He said he understood and even worked with another woman in a similar situation. He told me that, unfortunately, she was unable to overcome her fear but apparently she was worse off than me.

I drove for an entire hour and a half which is excellent for me. Usually, I start to get upset long before that. He said I am a good driver; I have control of the vehicle, and I am safe. He thinks I just need a lot of practice, and I need to spend a lot of time learning the rules of the road. He believes learning the rules inside and out will help me feel safe, and he told me to think about what I am doing as a sort of communication to other drivers.

The whole thing helped a lot!

I have two more sessions, and I can schedule them whenever I want. He recommended I practice on my own for a while before working with him again, so that is the plan.

I’m so glad I did this!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had better get going. It’s getting late, and my house is such a mess. I have to start the dreaded chores, bleck! Thank you so much for chatting with me, I needed it.

I hope that you had a good week, and I hope your weekend has been relaxing. Please, if you have a moment, drop a note in the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to and how you’ve been feeling. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time :)

***

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You Think You Understand

I am talking too much again
Trying to warn you about me
You smile and think you understand

***

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Post inspired by Ink in Third’s Three Line Thursday Challenge: Communication

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Things I Thou​ght Love Was, and Learned the Hard Way, that it Wasn’t

Today is a big day. Today I am celebrating 14 years with my lovely lady. Fourteen years since the day I decided I only wanted to be with her, and I only wanted her to be with me too. Fourteen years since she told me she wanted the same, and we started this strange and wonderful journey together.

This anniversary doesn’t feel like an especially exciting one, but I think for good reason. I think we have come to the point where anniversaries are less of an accomplishment and more of an inevitability. Now, instead of celebrating by doing something special and new, we do things the things we always do because they are our favorite things. I like it better this way.  It feels like honoring how far we have come and who we are together.

I would like to honor what we have learned along the way by sharing it with you.

***

When I was young, and my love and I were first together, I thought that love was about perfection. I thought that love was proof of her perfection and mine, and our perfect perfection together. I thought once she started to find faults with me, that she must be falling out of love. I thought that since I saw faults in her, she must not be the one.

I learned that love is about accepting imperfection, in each other and in your relationship. The trick is finding more good than bad in one another and always striving to do better.

I learned that the person who loves you is the only one who can show you your faults in a way that makes you love yourself despite them. I learned that only seeing the good in a person and making them perfect in your mind is cruel. It is cruel because the illusion will fade and the fall will be worse than if you had both been honest and loved one another, flaws and all, from the beginning.

***

When I was young, and my love and I were first together, I thought that love was only expressed with kindness, empathy, and generosity. I thought fighting meant you weren’t in love and when my girlfriend and I began to fight I became afraid. When I saw her anger I thought she didn’t love me, and when I felt angry it was only my frustration at trying and failing to make her and us happy.

I learned that sometimes love is expressed through actions and feelings that look nothing like love. Sometimes love is angry and mean. Sometimes love is scared and jealous. Sometimes love hurts and is hurting.

No one comes out of their childhood unscathed, and no one comes into a relationship emotionally unburdened. Everything we were taught about how love should feel and be expressed becomes what we expect from the one we’ve chosen to spend our lives with. When our expectations aren’t met, it scares us, and we react in irrational ways.

We try to change, control, and cage each other, thinking we will escape a terrible fate. I will tell you if you do that you will set yourself on a course for failure and heartbreak.

***

When I was young, and my love and I were first together, I thought that love was the prize. I thought once promises were made to spend eternity together there was no need to chase and earn that love again. I thought the fight was over, the rest of my life only need be lived, but when we both became restless and feared being taken for granted, I thought I had to go looking for love elsewhere.

I learned that meeting, falling in love, and settling in our home was not the ends of the journey; it was only the beginning. I learned that love is not like finding your treasure and settling down to empty your spoils. Falling in love is like finally being handed the treasure map and a partner to go hunting with, for the rest of your life.

I thought that love should feel like a burning, consuming passion and love that doesn’t is a love that has run its course, fizzled out, and should be abandoned. I had never been told that after the passion and drama there comes a kind of peace. There comes comfort and contentment and if you come to it without fear it can be something more beautiful than the drama and passion ever were.

Let that comfort be the place your love is journeying toward.

***

When I was young, and my love and I were first together, I thought that love was static and unchanging. I thought that the person I fall for would remain the same person forever. I thought, I hoped, that the paradise we had found and created in and with one another would be timeless and insulated from outside influence.

When I woke up one day and looked at my love and saw someone I didn’t know and who didn’t know me, I panicked. I heard the words “grown up” and “grown apart” saw her drifting away. I raged, and I whined, and I tried to make her back into the girl I first knew, and she only drifted more.

Love isn’t supposed to stay the same forever. Love grows and morphs from day-to-day because ethe people who fee it grow and morph too. They may grow apart, that is a part of the risk, but if they are careful and give one another space and support, the love will grow stronger, and the bond solidifies. Don’t fear the change. Take pride in the way you and your love move through life, sampling different temperaments and becoming different people.

It is the gift you are meant to give one another.

***

When I was young and my love and I were first together we didn’t know what it meant to learn to not only love each other but to live and grow together. Most couples fail to learn the lessons, but we were determined to make it through the dark caverns of jealousy and the jagged mountains of uncertainty. We came out the other side feeling like two people who had also become one entity and would always be.

We are happy, even with our flaws and our fighting we are happy.

I hope you are too, and if you aren’t I hope you can stick it out and come out the other side filled with love, comfort, and contentment.

***

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Post inspired by The Daily Post’s Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Trista Mateer

Hello, hello, and welcome to the middle of the week, dear readers. If you are feeling a little run down or if Friday is feeling a bit too far away, I encourage you to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading and Ronovan of Ronovan Writes.

For my contribution this week, I have chosen a quote from the poet Trista Mateer.

image
Fuck

Trista Mateer is a 25-year old writer currently based outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Known for her eponymous blog, she is also is the author of three collections of poetry: HoneybeeThe Dogs I Have Kissed, and Small Ghost. She believes in lipstick, black tea, and owning more books than she can ever possibly read.

She is currently working as a contributing editor at Words Dance literary magazine.

I stumbled across Mateer’s work while scrolling Tumblr; most user can’t scroll very far before coming upon her words on love and queerness.

Her metaphors are brilliant, and her writing is direct. Everything she says is relatable, universal, and she can tell a story and fill you with emotion in a very small amount of words.

She is my newest obsession and role model. She is the first poet contemporary poet who I have decided must grace my bookshelves and she has been a shining example of how self-publishing can lead to success.

“Write about what you need to write about even if it’s just love poems. The world could always use at least six more love poems. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise”

— Trista Mateer on advice to aspiring writers in an interview at The Wild Ones Queer Lit Rag

It feels like everything has been said already, and that can be discouraging
I was born too late to say anything for the first time. Maybe I should just give up? Maybe we should all give up. I am positive you were born too late to say anything for the first time too.

Some things resist being said again and again while provoking the same response, but there is one thing for which I believe there is an infinite number of things to be said and perspectives to be shared. That thing is love.

That thing is love.

There are countless poems professing that love has been found, and the happily ever after is in sight or already grasped. Some love poems aren’t happy poems. So many of them are sad poems because for so many of us our love ends in pain and suffering. Even a love that endures experiences moments of hurt and doubt, all of which can be translated into words that capture our unique experience and transcend time.

Love improves us and brings out the worst in us, both of which make more some of the best writing motivation you will ever find.

The lack of love hurts us, and there is much to say on that too.

Like any good writing, a good love poem tells the truth about love. It captures the way love blinds, distracts, and consumes. It brings forth a remembered or hoped for passion in the reader. It translates the desperation of jealousy, the heart-clenching pain of abandonment, and the emptiness that comes with a love lost to death from one heart to another.

Even the love poems that tell sweet lies have their purpose.  The greatest epics on love have given us the most unrealistic expectations, and if you believe them, you will surely fail. But I can’t help but think that without their promise of happily ever after we might never have enough hope to brave the possibility of pain and loss time and again to find that perfect soul mate.

There is never enough that can be said about love. There is no end to the ways to say you love someone so much that it fills you with a kind of energy you’ve never felt. There is no end to the ways to say you love someone so much that it hurts. There is no end to the ways to say the sight of that person awakens your whole body and fills you with a passion that scares you.

So write some love poems and don’t for one moment think they are too cheesy or unnecessary. All love poems have a place, and this world needs them more than ever. In a time when the rise of hatred and loneliness threatens to push us past a point of no return, write a love poem and do your part to remind the world that love is beautiful and even in the pain it causes it will always be the greatest force for good and happiness in this world.

Write a love poem and remind yourself that the time of romanticism is not over.

I’ll write mine too and remember the same.

***

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Resist the Temptation​ to Settle for Too Little

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know I know, Mondays aren’t supposed to be good days, but let’s imagine for a moment that they are. Let’s imagine that Mondays are the days when we get to start all over again. Let’s imagine all the bad things that happened last week don’t matter anymore and that we’ve been given a second chance to do it all right again. If that were the case wouldn’t you be a bit more excited about Mondays?

Yes, you would, so let’s make that dream a reality. Treat this Monday as your big chance to get out there and get shit done!

So far, for me, this Monday is one filled with anxiety. I will be heading to my very first adult driving class and taking my first step to conquering my fear and getting my license. I’m 31, and it’s well past about time. I’m scared, but I am also excited and proud of myself for doing it in the face of so much fear. Wish me luck!

“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little”

—Anonymous

This week I am thinking about all the ways I have gotten too comfortable and let myself settle. I’m guilty of settling for less than I was capable of and I’m writing this to remind myself, and you if you need it too, that there is so much more I can do and have if I remember to stay hungry and curious.

I lost the motivation to push myself further for years simply because things became comfortable and good enough. To be fair, what some may think of as underachieving to me looked like more than I thought I could ever have or even deserved.

I had a job that paid over ten dollars an hour, and I had meant someone who thought she could maybe love me back. We had a checking account, a roof over our heads, and we had food, were had all we needed and so I stopped looking ahead and only looked at the present thinking it perfect and thinking it would never change.

The trouble with settling is that it usually means you stand still, and the rest of the world moves on without you. The trouble with settling is one day you will wake up, and you will realize that while you were staring at the present, the future has snuck up and made all you thought was perfect into something to be looked upon with contempt.

That isn’t to say the present should not be cherished or that every achievement is not worth celebration, I just think a part of the mind should be set on the past and future too. You should never let your mind grow stagnant. Explore your boundaries. Push against them, test them and see where your possibilities lay.

Remember that you do deserve more, is only that what you deserve isn’t free. Try something different, work a little harder, give up what isn’t giving you the best results. Do it for money, sure, but more importantly, do it for the wisdom you’ll gain, the experiences you will take with you, and the amazing stories you will get to tell.

I wish I had been more driven. I wish I had seen more of what I could have and not just what I did have. I woke up one day, and my peers had moved on, and we’re doing, learning, and seeing so much more than me. I’m doing my best to catch up, but it’s harder to do in your 30s what you should have done in your 20s.

The world is less flexible and less understanding of my dreams and my mistakes.

So enjoy what you have but don’t settle. Don’t let your mind atrophy and your mood become one of resistance and curmudgeonry. Don’t let all the food things in life pass you by simply because you can’t imagine what they are, how you could achieve them, or even that you might deserve them.

Most of all do not let a little thing like fear—whether of failure or success—get in your way.

From The Little Book of Confidence by Tiddy Rowan via Swissmiss

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