My final poem is one stanza of a renga that all the Tupelo 30/30 Project poets participated in. This marks the official end to my participation in the challenge for the month of August.
I had a good time.
I’ve said elsewhere (and to anyone kind enough to listen) that participating in the project was harder than I thought it would be. I’m used to writing every day. I’m not afraid to write a bad poem; I’m pretty sure I’ve written a lot of it. You can’t avoid it if you write every day, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of years no. I can usually manage to peck something out on the keyboard. Some days it comes more easily than others, and this was true for the challenge as well, but overall, the challenge was just plain harder. It seemed that I had to call on different wellsprings of energy or inspiration.
It’s possible that committing to raising money for Tupelo added some kind of pressure to the old wavy matter sitting thick and still in my skull. But, no one stood behind me cracking a whip. It was very much, “We’re just happy with what ever you can contribute.”
And maybe that’s it. The idea of being a contributor. Sitting alone at my computer, I can write something I like, or hate, or think is funny, and hit the publish button. Some of you are kind enough to let me know if you like it or think it is funny; some of you will even call me out for taking the easy way out in a poem. no one has said they’ve hated one of my poems, or that I’ve ruined their life. Yet. And I enjoy being part of the community, interacting in the comments and sometimes in email.
But that still seems to be fundamentally different, that being a contributor. Contributing implies you believe that you have something to offer. Contributing means that others, who are on the receiving end of your beneficence, expect that what you are submitting has value. I don’t usually think of what I do as a valuable thing. It’s just something I do because I need to do it.
So, for all of you who have willingly or otherwise treated me as a contributor, I thank you.
The renga is available to read at the Tupelo 30/30 project page.