One Thousand Posts of Practice (a Giveaway)


10001

Years ago, when they were a different kind
of small
and life was a different flavor
(effort, exhaustion, tiny snowsuits, walks
with front packs, nursing babies, preschool pick-up
bathtime and frozen waffles that had to be cut up
in just the right way lest a morning meltdown
wake the neighbors on both sides, emergency yoga
classes)
I began writing here in this little glowing box
called it a place to practice
called it bullseye, baby!
for a year or so of private posts
I called it More Joy, Less Oy
called it the need to circle around
like a hawk and land on the prey of words
called it writing is how I pray
called it a beginning
and decided right off the bat that blogging
would not have any rules or schedules
no way to fuck it up

In fact, I didn’t really understand what  a blog actually was
only that it was a place I could call my own
a 21st-century Virginia Woolf kind of thing
What I didn’t realize was that by showing up here
I was putting out a signal
inaudible to many but to the other Virginia Woolfs
out there in the world, clear and clean
and within nine months or so of posting
this kind of thing — rambling, stream of consciousness
poems and prose — my people started showing up
fellow travelers and kindred spirits
other mamas, writers, seekers and finders

To this day it’s a mystery that we found each other, you and I
and you know who you are, of course you do
your call called me and mine called you
all because we came and wrote and kept going
when we thought we couldn’t
when we thought everything had shattered
because it had even our hearts especially our hearts
and that’s when the light got brightest
and the path was fully lit if flickering
though there were many times
I sat down on the forest floor
and others I laid down bare
under the broken sky of dead stars
and also times when my love was the sky
and the floor and my heart overflowed and I couldn’t help
but tell you everything

I’ve been telling you everything in some way
or another
inside this box and outside where we ran
in the mornings and talked about our babies
the ones who are now navigating middle school
high school college or who’ve passed and become pure
light or sung their way into new seasons
of being

I’ve pulsed with a heartbeat that could erode
even the oldest and sharpest rocks
and melted like sugar under warm running water
and now here I am here you are
we’re still here writing and reading and connecting
and growing and changing and practicing
the kids are alright I can tell
because they’re bickering in the kitchen
as I write these words as I say thank you
and I get it and tell me your stories and thank you some more

The Giveaway

This here today is my 1,000th published post. To celebrate and as a symbol and gesture of my incredulity and gratitude, I’m giving things away. What, you ask?

* Inscribed copies of each of the two books I’ve self-published. “Don’t Miss This” and “The Inside of Out” are collections of poems and prose that were born here  over these years of change and ebb and flow and stop and start and good enough and practice.

* One spot in my next two-week online writing group, October 19-30.

To play along, leave a comment below or on Facebook. I’ll choose not one, not two, but THREE names at 7:00am EST on Monday, September 7. 

I started writing for myself. And still do. But along the way, wow. A community grew and keeps expanding.  Thank you, for being part of it.

Big, big love.

17 thoughts on “One Thousand Posts of Practice (a Giveaway)

  1. emmalouisebeatriz says:

    I smiled at your phrasing of no way to fuck it up.
    Because I think I have found a way as I’ve gone from blogging my way happily through Guatemala to professional blogging as a way to earn a living.
    Perhaps that should be my next book: How to fuck it up in one simple step.

    xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leah Silverman says:

    This: “your call called me and mine called you
    all because we came and wrote and kept going
    when we thought we couldn’t” — and this:
    “my heart overflowed and I couldn’t help
    but tell you everything”.
    Oh, Jena dear! You’ve been such a lifeline to a writing practice I thought was dying a slow, painful death and, even more importantly, to my soul. Thank you. xox

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nina Badzin says:

    Wow! 1000! That’s amazing and I love that image of the signal pulsating out from here into, perhaps, silence at first, then finding other such signals. That’s just exactly how it is, isn’t it?

    Congrats and YES, enter me in your contest! :)

    Like

  4. Katie D. says:

    “my people started showing up
    fellow travelers and kindred spirits
    other mamas, writers, seekers and finders”
    This.
    Thank you for creating the space for this. I’m delighted to have wound up in your world :)
    And I’d probably poop my pants with joy if I won your giveaway. Which is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sarahwbartlett says:

    “In fact, I didn’t really understand what a blog actually was
    only that it was a place I could call my own”…

    Well, Jena – you sure fooled me! It was YOUR lead I followed in starting to blog because you were so clear about its value. Now I understand more fully about the need you were pulled by. We both started our practices not knowing where they would lead, and here we both are – writing and reversed, with you holding and me held. Ah the spiral wonders of the world, indeed. Too many fabulous lines to write back; instead I’ll just thank you for leading a new generation onward.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. stacey says:

    things have been shifting for me lately, some pieces of life getting out of focus, and thankfully some things becoming much more focused… I am glad I found your blog a couple of years ago because what you write resonants and helps with trying to keep things in focus for me! thank you for sharing so generously …….

    Liked by 1 person

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