Archive for January 2nd, 2016

Return to Mattie’s Pillow

January 2, 2016

Hello, friends of Mattie’s Pillow!

I’ve been on a couple-year hiatus from this blog, but, with some encouragement from friends who have been readers of Mattie’s Pillow, and with the enthusiasm that a new year brings, I’m ready to pick it up again.

When I first started this blog in 2009, I was on a semester-long sabbatical, working on readying both a chapbook and a book of poetry for publication, as well as teaching poetry for a charter school class called “Climate Change and Creative Expression”–an experimental mix of science, dance, and poetry. It was a regenerative time when I felt full of writing energy and wanted to explore some ideas about the intersection among the various directions in my life at the time (and still): writing, dance, gardening, horses, teaching. I also wanted to explore an idea–a daydream, really–that I had been turning in my mind for some time: to find a physical place that could bring all of those things together the way Jacob’s Pillow does for dancers, thus the name Mattie’s Pillow. I still have Mattie, my cranky black bay Tennessee Walking Horse mare, but my vision of a physical place is changing.

I began to slow down on blogging the spring when four significant people in my life–friends, poets, life models–died within a month of each other, and I didn’t want to bog down the blog with elegy after elegy. I pretty much stopped when I had to step in as chair of my university department rather abruptly–and stayed in that role for three years. For a while, work took all the creative energy I had.

But that’s over now, and, again, I feel the need to write and the urge to use this blog as a platform.

My intent is to change a few things in the way I’ve approached this blog. For one, I no longer feel so cagey about writing about my age or my location in Interior Alaska. As I approach retirement–still a fuzzy date, but I think about it every day–I’d like to write about what it means to go through this stage of life as a professional woman. In fact, I’d like to broaden this blog to include memories and reflections on current times–a little more honest take on the world around us.

I plan to keep the sections of the blog: Sam will still comment on the life with horses here at Mattie’s Pillow, and I’ll continue to post about the view from my home on the ridge and write about dance in our community and beyond. It occurs to me that this will make the blog somewhat unfocused, but bear with me. I think it will sort itself out.

I have also been writing about family history as a way to explore themes in American history–particularly the history of women in the 19th and early 20th Century. I’ll post some of this.

I may finally be willing to post photos–but this blog is still mainly about writing.

OK. I can see that this is all pretty ambitious. Be patient. Send me comments and thoughts. We’ll see how it develops.

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