The Nature of These Lines

I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me in this poetry series called “These Lines.” I am still reading The Carrying by Ada Limon, so lines from her poems made it to this series again.


 

I hate the world, the pain of it that circles in us,

that makes us want to be the moon,

the treasure, and not the thing on the sea

floor.

from “The Dead Boy” by Ada Limon

  • I have found myself hating the world and its pain. I love how Ada includes everyone in this “want[ing] to be the moon” with her use of “us.” I have also wondered what it would be like to be something nonhuman: a flower, a river, a bird.

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What I’ve Been Up To

Thursday, August 30, 2018

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Don’t be fooled by his cuteness.

University

On Wednesday I attended class at university after a long day at work. I questioned my decision to take the two courses I signed up for because I was already tired by the time the class started.

Today, I read a few pages of an assigned chapter, and I don’t regret the decision anymore. The chapter talks about behavior management which I want to improve on in my teaching. I include a picture my sister’s dog because he chewed on the pages of this week’s assigned reading. I tend to leave all my stuff on the floor.. 🙂

 

Teaching

Even though teaching can be super difficult at times, my students make my life better. They don’t know that they’re my greatest teachers. I have two classes of students that I thought last semester, and I’m still memorizing the names of my new students. This weekend I’m going to do lots of lesson planning, so that I’m not as stressed during the week. I also get an extra day off on Monday!

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Everything Else

  • I’ve been wearing dresses and skirts more. I plan to buy more dresses and skirts this weekend. Wearing dress and skirts is making me feel more comfortable with my femininity. I have never been a girly girl.
  • I reconnected with a friend I lost touch with and a classmate I’ve had in previous university classes.
  • My current jam is “Side Effects” by The Chainsmokers.
  • I haven’t done any personal book reading because I’m super exhausted by the time I get home. Actually, I haven’t been doing the things that I usually do like journaling, blogging, and working out.

I’m trying to find the best way to balance everything. I definitely want to continue to be part of the blogging world 🙂

What have you been up to?

 

Andrea

What Love Letters Teach Me about Writing

letters-1390463_1920The other day I watched P.S. I Love You for the first time even though it’s a popular romantic movie. Even though it’s not a movie specifically about the writing process, it teaches three things about writing that I actually already know, but that I don’t mind being reminded of. 

If you have already watched the movie or if you don’t mind spoilers, please continue reading.

After her husband, Gerry, dies, letters start arriving from him as a way to help Holly cope with his death and to remind her of his love for her. Although her mother is initially against the idea, the letters help Holly with the grieving process.

At one point, Gerry tells Holly to only keep his jacket, and to get rid of everything else that belonged to him. And I wonder how much longer it would have taken for Holly to let go of his stuff if he hadn’t prompted her.

Gerry’s love letters to Holly teach me the following:

1. You need to know your audience.

What I like about Gerry’s letters is that he knows how Holly is dealing with his death. Gerry predicts that Holly will visit his parents when she is in Ireland, and his mom gives Holly one of his letters that he left there for her. Gerry also finds the connection between Holly’s love of shoes and her dream of creating. So he guides her to a new job of designing shoes.

2. Your writings don’t have to be read by every single person on earth. They can be written with only one person or specific group of people in mind.

Lately, I’ve been learning that all of my blog posts are not meant to be read by all of the people who follow this blog. Some topics resonate to people more than others, and that’s totally fine! Gerry’s letters which are addressed only to Holly (with the exception of two letters) make me value every piece of writing (regardless of how many people are in our audience.) This makes me think of one of my classmates from university. Any time I emailed her, her personality shone through her emails, and even though the email was directed only to me, the quality of her emails was so rich because she had her signature writing style. I would buy all of her books!

3. Each writing has a purpose.

By the end of the movie, we know that the purpose of the love letters was to help Holly move on after Gerry’s death. Gerry tells Holly in her last letter that it’s okay to fall in love with someone else. 

 

3 Tips for Writing as Way of Life

 

 

meetings-1149198_1920I decided to become consistent on this blog as a way of taking my writing seriously. Even though writing has never been my life’s main priority, my life always leads back to writing. I can stop writing for days or weeks, but sooner or later my preference of creative outlet is writing.

The following are 3 ways in which writing is part of my life on a daily basis.  Read More

There are Ghosts and Madness in These Lines

This is a poetry series in which I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me. The following lines are from The Carrying by Ada Limon.


What if I want to go devil instead? Bow

down to the madness that makes me.

spirit-2304469_1920from “Last Summer After a Panic Attack”

  • I think that all artists including writers carry a madness. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Here, I’m using the either the “state of frenzied or chaotic activity” definition or “extremely foolish behavior.” My madness sometimes occurs after midnight when I can’t sleep and there’s chaos in my mind. A whirlwind of writing ideas and dreams.

Unanswered messages like ghosts in the throat.

from “Last Summer After a Panic Attack”

  • I have never thought of ghosts living in the throat, and I admire this line so much for its creativity. I would have expected ghosts in the attic or ghosts in the cemetery, so the end of this line caught me off guard. It reminds me of the things I don’t say when I need to say them. Have you ever felt discomfort on your throat because you didn’t say what you wanted to say, and you kept it to yourself?

Some days there is a violent sister inside of me, and a red ladder that wants to go elsewhere.

from “The Vulture & the Body”

  • This line reminds me of rage and sins. This violent sister is the aspect of myself that comes alive when I forget to not lose my chill. This violent sister forgets to think before she speaks or acts after a long day or a long week.

What is your take on these lines? If you liked this post, subscribe to The Hummingbird’s Journal! 


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Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am an English Language Arts teacher who loves reflecting over the truth, beauty, and wisdom I find through reading, journaling, and teaching. The Hummingbird’s Journal is where I collect these reflections. Join me on Twitter where I retweet (more than I tweet) all things funny, enlightening, artsy, and poetical.

My Struggle with Being Happy

More than a week ago, my cousin caught me thoughtful during a conversation. He asked, “What are you thinking about?” During that same week, when we were in an airport my mother commented that it looked like I was in another world. It doesn’t surprise me when people make these observations: I’m analytical, I’m an introvert, and sometimes I forget to not act so much like myself, so that people don’t make comments like these. But I can’t help it.

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My thoughtful quality is what sometimes gets in the way of my happiness. (I’m not saying one has to be happy all of the time.)

In a three-hour phone conversation with my father the other day, I told him that I become so used to the suffering in my life that I’m became suspicious of the week or the month without a major problem.

Today, I can say that there’s not a major thing that blocks me from feeling a daily joy and still I can’t accept that joy can be a normal feeling. Maybe I’m caught in overthinking? I’m sure that obsessing over the future doesn’t help.

What I’m getting at is that for a long time I thought that the sadness and suffering that comes from problems were a normal part of life, and now it’s hard to accept that they don’t have to be my default setting.

I want joy to be my default feeling.

Instead of sadness or anxiety, I want joy to be my default feeling. And, here, I’m getting analytical, but I have noticed that my being out of touch with joy has roots in a belief of lack. Maybe I used to think that there wasn’t enough joy to go around, when there’s an abundance of it!

I’ve also been thinking of that concept of paying it forward (from the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde). The book includes the following quote: “You don’t need much to change the entire world for better.” We can change the world for better when we share happiness with others–it’s a form of paying it forward, and I firmly believe that it reaches us back again in even if in other forms. I can’t tell you how many times people’s joy for life has inspired me to smile more, to be kinder.

Even though, it’s difficult to act from a new belief system, I’ll keep reminding myself that the feeling of joy can be my default feeling everyday until it is. 

How do you prioritize the feeling of joy in your life?

If you you liked this post, please subscribe to The Hummingbird’s Journal! 


1527483638039

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am an English Language Arts teacher who loves reflecting over the truth, beauty, and wisdom I find through reading, journaling, and teaching. The Hummingbird’s Journal is where I collect these reflections. Feel free to join me on Twitter where I retweet (more than I tweet) all things funny, enlightening, artsy, and poetical.

 

Are Your Writing Drafts Just as Valuable as the Final Draft?

lion-1214837_1920I walked through my local art museum a couple weeks ago and saw a Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro collection. I was struck by seeing drafts of the same etchings side by side. I expected to only see the final versions. The information box said that the artists, “gave their working process much greater visibility” by showcasing the revisions of the same etching.

I wondered how can this valuing of revisions apply to writing?

As a poet, I love reading the revisions and edits that well-known poets make in their poems. They sometimes share their writing process on Twitter. No matter the differences between these poets’ and my successes in poetry, I relate to them when I see how writing is a process for them.

When we only see writers’ final writing products, the readers (who are also writers) for the most part, don’t get to see the writer’s journey. Sometimes I forget that even the most successful writers also revise their writing. 

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