Saturday, March 7, 2009

One of the most challenging things about the residency is developing the ability to not only keep specific things in mind when looking at what is being unloaded from the trucks and cars, but to keep an open mind about the possibilities for other items. A case in point - as I develop my abecedary poem, I'm thinking in terms of items that start with a specific letter. When I started, I was thinking in general terms. A doorknob, that starts with D. Good. A gravy boat, that starts with G. Okay. Not that the poem is underway, I have to stop myself from thinking in terms of what will fit and keep thinking in terms of 'this item starts with this letter' - it's developing the ability to recognize what's useful (I most often find a lost object when I can visualize what it looks like - that's when it pops out of the rest of the clutter I'm seeing) but not stop myself from being able to see what else is in the pile of debris in front of me. What can I use? That's my most constant question.

This is also, I think, one of the most useful things I'm learning in the course of the residency - to not get hung up on a particular answer, to keep myself open to possibilities while, at the same time, developing a particular line of thought. It's keeping two opposing ideas in my mind at the same time, actually. Open but not open.

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