Brief Break

I have suddenly been assailed by blogging fatigue and will take a brief break of a week to rest my weary brain. A quick tot up indicates that I’ve written over 45,000 words here since the year began, which is a figure that makes my head spin. That’s half a book! But it’s been a really busy few weeks at the end of a busy term, and I have lots of tedious admin to do, and it feels like I haven’t actually finished a book I could write about in ages. I’ve always found brief breaks most refreshing, and I’ll be back next weekend to catch up on what everyone’s been doing. I’ll leave you with a poem by Louise Gluck, who I find I am liking very much indeed.

Mutable Earth

Are you healed or do you only think you’re healed?

I told myself
from nothing
nothing could be taken away.

But can you love anyone yet?

When I feel safe, I can love.

But will you touch anyone?

I told myself
if I had nothing
the world couldn’t touch me.

In the bathtub, I examine my body.
We’re supposed to do that.

And your face too?
Your face in the mirror?

I was vigilant: when I touched myself
I didn’t feel anything.

Were you safe then?

I was never safe, even when I was most hidden.
Even then I was waiting.

So you couldn’t protect yourself?

The absolute
erodes; the boundary, the wall
around the self erodes.
If I was waiting I had been
invaded by time.

But do you think you’re free?

I think I recognize the patterns of my nature.

But do you think you’re free?

I had nothing
and I was still changed.
Like a costume, my numbness
was taken away. Then
hunger was added.

18 thoughts on “Brief Break

  1. I hope it’s a restful time away — and such a good idea. 45,000 words! You’re right — that’s a ton of words. It’s so inspiring, actually, to have that figure. It makes me think that with steady work, daily or every other day, an enormous amount can be accomplished. (And thank you for the poem.)

  2. You’re the second person to recommend her, so I think it’s time I started looking for her books. Have a good break, and see you back refreshed!

  3. Bloglily – thank you, my friend! And it is amazing how those words add up when you are not looking. I am wondering why all my other projects take so long to write? It’s a mystery!

    Susan – thank you – just a few days away and I always feel ready to blog again! And do read Gluck – she is just a delight.

    Bookwormz – thank you so much, that’s so kind of you!🙂

  4. Sounds smart, Litlove. Much as I’d like to be consistent, day in and out, with my writing, the sorry truth is that the words come in waves for me. I try not to worry about the troughs, as I once did, and enjoy the waves when they come. Hope you do, too.

  5. Have a great break, Litlove! I might have to think about taking one myself — at least I’ll keep it in mind. It does sound like a good idea! Looking forward to when you come back.

  6. Rest up, pour yourself a cocktail. See you when you get back. I don’t think I could string 45,000 words together (I wonder if I even know 45,000 words.)

  7. After 45,000 and the birthday celebration I guess you are entitled to a bit of time off🙂
    Enjoy your downtime and hope you’ll be enjoying some good stories.

  8. That poem takes me to another blog, and into different thoughts about other people… it’s so… psychological. I like it!

    Litlove, missing you already! But enjoy your break and cool those pistols (AKA typing fingers).

  9. Lillian and Stefanie – thank you! So glad you enjoyed the poem!

    Danielle – nail on the head, my friend! I’ve been reading steadily and do have some books to talk about now – hurray!

    Anne – so pleased you liked the poem! That’s a very good description of it. Big hugs!

    Ben – yes, writing does come in waves, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s good practice to see whether a person can write in the dull times, too, and sometimes a holiday is just the ticket.

    Dorothy – so nice to have you join me on my break! Do hope you’ve been enjoying your time off enormously (and celebrating with the Hobgoblin!).

    ds – so pleased you liked the poem! I’ve only come across Gluck recently but am very taken with her.

    Pete – occasionally I think, perhaps I could have put 45,000 words to better use and then I think, don’t be ridiculous! What could possibly be more important than blogging? But it’s nice to have a break every now and then.

    Boxofbooks -I have a theory (surprise, surprise) about this time of year, that we’ve all used up all the vitamins we stored after the summer and just need warmth and light again to top us up. It’s always a bit of a low point for me, but the lengthening days give me much hope. Here’s hoping you are having a wonderful break, too.

    Grad – I’ll tell you a secret – I use pretty much the same words over and over again!😉 And I’ll be over to count yours in a few months – just wait and see what blogging will lure you into.🙂

    Gentle reader – so very happy that you liked the Gluck poem and thank you for the lovely wishes!

    iliana – oh yes indeed I did get to read some lovely books – more on which very, very soon!🙂

    Doctordi – you’re spot on, it IS psychological, which is probably why I like it so much. I missed you, too, but it’s lovely to be back. And I have made endless typos writing these comments which shows how out of practice I must be!😉

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