Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Big E (on the Big Island)

When I arrive here, I think of a week of writing--and then I don't write nearly as much as I want to (or I don't like what I write nearly as much as I want to).

Last year, I wrote more than usual--but not poetry. The poems remained as elusive as shadows at noon. Instead, I wrote essays (or what I thought were essays). It was my fantasy of becoming a professional vacationer by writing essays about traveling and writing--connecting the experience of a place to the experience of writing.

Yes, I sound deluded--but it was a nice thought while it lasted, and at least I wrote something.

This morning, I finally admitted that when I'm brimming with anticipation for adventure and writing (and reading novels by the pool), I'm hobbled by my own Expectations--my Big E. I'm expecting to write wonderful things about this wonderful place in this unusual bounty of time--much more time than I have in my usual everyday living.

Those expectations muffle me.

How do you conquer or mollify or dismiss your own expectations? Can you stay awasy from them, and from the fear of failing them? Relax, and just be?


Martha Silano said...

Hi Joannie - I hope you're enjoying those novels by the pool, not to mention the shadowless noons! My suggestion is to lower your expectations. If you are "only" taking notes, you can't fail. And then when you get home, you'll have plenty to work with.

T. Clear said...

Greetings from across the water! (From Maui.) I agree with Martha, lower your expectations, and just let the time away take you where it will.

Geoff M. Pope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff M. Pope said...

Hello, Joannie. "The Big E"mily Dickinson may help t/here:

Expectation — is Contentment —
Gain — Satiety —
But Satiety — Conviction
Of Necessity

Of an Austere trait in Pleasure —
Good, without alarm
Is a too established Fortune —
Danger — deepens Sum —

Joannie said...

Martha and T.--I have now sufficiently lowered my expecations and returned to the gray days of the northwest. Whether the notes will yield anything, who knows? But the sun was delicious.

Geoff--thanks for the Emily poem.