I used to blog about bathrooms and diapers, about babies and breastfeeding. I wrote snarky reviews of the changing tables around town. I brought a stop watch to dinner and timed restaurants in the order-to-table-dash. Babies sleeping, I stayed up late with the ticking of the woodstove as the bass to the melody of my keyboard.
Then I stopped. All those words and ticks and cries took away from my time for writing poems. As babies don’t wipe themselves, poems don’t write themselves. Changing diapers and reading picture books was non-negotiable. I couldn’t not do that. If I did the world would stop spinning for two little girls, and I would probably be arrested.
I could stop blogging though. So I did.
That’s what parenting and poetry have in common. You have only so many words or minutes and you have to learn to ration. When I stopped blogging, I finished my book of poems, Steam Laundry. I went back to teaching English at a large, comprehensive high school. I finished (almost) my second book of poems. At times you have to turn something off for a while to get by.
You have to know when to turn it back on as well. Especially when you’re about to do something the State Department considers blogworthy.
In March, I was awarded a 2015-2016 Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. I’ll be living in
Puducherry, India four four months in the spring of 2016, researching the pedagogy of poetry as it’s taught in Indian schools. I’ll travel, meet poets, and design lessons featuring contemporary Indian poems written in English. They ask Fulbright Distinguished Teachers to blog about their experiences.
It’s time to blog again. This time about education, poetry, cross-cultural communication and travel. I
promise I won’t mention diapers. I promise that I’ll keep writing poems too. I’ll let you know where they might be appearing.