Sunday, 27 September 2020

Seasonal Changes

My garden is a gold splash of autumn, my favourite season. Apples thudding onto the unmowed grass, the buttery sun catching the red leaves of the maples. I have an urge to tidy and gather in supplies, inside and out, to finish harvesting my allotment and ready it for winter, to clear the flower beds of debris, to pack away tools for my winter hibernation. 

With words, I've been kicking through my poems like fallen leaves, noticing a gem here, a spoiled windfall there. I edit a line, I submit a few poems, slowly. There is no urgency with my work, though I know time is running short there as well. My course starts up again tomorrow, I have a book review due in a few days, but I layer words a few at a time, waiting for them to build up into some rich mélange. 

My writing group is planning to go back to face-to-face meetings next week. I can't attend the first one, but with our second wave starting, I have to admit I'm nervous of jumping back into that part of normal life. Not all of it has to do with the virus. I've enjoyed having an online side of my writing life. I've joined mentoring, virtual book launches and workshops in the UK along with my local writing group from the comfort of my home. Being in Finland I wouldn't be able to take advantage of many of these opportunities without the impetus driven by the various lockdowns around the world. 

It's less stressful being online when you have kids and unreliable support, but I also find the social side easier. Seeing everyone in front of me, having to unmute to take my turn makes it easier for me to read social cues. I'm probably still awkward and too vocal, but somehow it's easier to step back and take a moment than when I'm caught up in the pressure of being surrounded by people, trying to find the right time to speak up.

It's a toss-up. I'm afraid online events will dwindle again and I'll be isolated here in my corner of Europe, but it will be good to try and make more local events, now that I've made some connections.  

We'll see what the next few weeks bring, infections are ramping up here, more restrictions coming along. I may not get the chance to see my friends for long, so should maybe jump at it, even masked up. 

Enjoy your week.  

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