Trying a Bike Commute

A photo of the trail I biked today

I'm giving a thumbs up after reaching my destinationI brought my bike onto campus this week with the goal of riding it to a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. Well, I ended up chickening out on the ride that day and took the bus. I was afraid of getting lost, or showing up late, or showing up utterly soaked in sweat (all equally bad scenarios!). Google Maps showed the bike commute as taking only 15 minutes by bike, but that seemed a bit optimistic for me. Continue reading “Trying a Bike Commute”

Knowing Where You’re Headed

Snow covered road and evergreen trees

“The most beautiful part of your body / is where it’s headed.” – Ocean Vuong, “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong

One of my goals for this year was to apply to graduate schools. I’ve long considered going to back to school for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I thought it would help me improve my craft, give me time to write, put me in touch with others in the writing community, among other things. There were a few obstacles in my way, but I was working on them. I took college classes to improve my undergraduate GPA. I produced a body of work for my portfolio. I narrowed down my program choices, then narrowed them further.

Finally, last December, DH and I sat down and review the numbers.

A budget is that magical place where dreams either hit the pavement running, or just hit the pavement. Because even at a low-residency program where I keep my day job, we were looking at a cost of $60,000. That is just not feasible, given our current financial situation.

It’s a disappointing reality to have to choose between things like “having a kid” and “buying our first house” in the next five years and furthering your education in pursuit of a dream. But ultimately, education can be postponed, whereas other goals have stricter timelines.

But these kinds of moments can have a clarifying impact, as well. It cuts away the coal to reveal the diamond truth beneath: My dream is not to get an MFA. My dream, in its clearest expression, is to have a career publishing my work. The only thing that requires is hard work, some luck, and a lot of writing. I can manage that on my own.

Where Instagram & Poetry Meet

ee cummings poetry quote

I recently joined Instagram. I joined for no special reason, though I can see the circumstances leading it up to it clearer with some distance. Firstly, it was on the tail of my sister starting her small business in fiber arts and aromatherapy. I’ve also been involved in community outreach at work, which has incorporated social media. And a number of the student employees that I work with are active on a variety of social media platforms.

quote from persephone rebornSo I joined with little ambition. I’m not a very good photographer. I don’t like sharing photos of myself, friends, or family with the world. But I did find something I like doing…

I started using my (limited) graphic design skills to highlight some of my poetry. When I ran out of my own poetry, I found other people’s poetry to use–like Ocean Vuong, and William Carlos Williams.

I’ve tried to publish twice a day, Monday through Friday. It’s a fairly demanding schedule, but it’s been forcing me to broaden my poetry horizons. That benefit alone makes this side project worthwhile to me.

If you’re feeling in the mood for some lovely words set to lovely pictures, check out my Instagram feed and leave a like.