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Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh No, Time to Take Stock

December 31: can it really be true? I began the year with an alphabet of resolutions, including eating more beans and collards and writing a pantoum. How did I fair? Well, I didn't accomplish all 26 to-dos, but I did eat more locally, spend a teeny bit more time with friends, blogged a little more (70 posts as opposed to 56), wrote ONE review of a poetry book (Goldbarth's To Be Read in 500 Years), one more than I wrote in 2009, and I did definitely attend more poetry readings (Kim Addonizio, Martin Espada, Linda Gregg, Mark Doty, Matthew Dickman, Jenny Browne, Susan Rich, Kelli Agodon, Oliver de la Paz, Stacey Waite, Joanie Mackowski, Dorianne Laux, Sarah Vap, and many more). I x-country skied twice (both times out of my front door), and I definitely decluttered and prayed more. I doubt I spent less time online, though I did take better care of myself. As for teaching that course at Richard Hugo House? Nyet, though I did take a very worthwhile course with Martin Espada there. And did I ever buy poetry books and subscribe/give to lit mags: Georgia Review, APR, Beloit Poetry Journal, 32 Poems, Smartish Pace, River Styx, etc. And thanks to that Espada workshop I discovered the poetry of Sean Thomas Dougherty, definitely a 2010 highlight.

So, what's in store for 2011?

I could, like 2/3 of Americans, bow out completely and not make any resolutions at all, but how lame would that be?

But really all I want to do is more of the same (see January 1, 2010 post), plus brush up on my French, volunteer more at my kids' elementary schools (public, underfunded, short on staff, overflowing class sizes), and be more present with my kids.

I probably won't be writing more letters by hand, and I doubt I'll ski more than it snows in Seattle (quite rare), but I know I can make a small positive difference if I help even one child struggle and succeed through a sentence or turn him/her onto Basho and Issa. I also know I will continue to support poetry and the arts in my community, including memberships to Seattle Arts & Lectures, Seattle Art Museum, and by attending readings at and supporting my favorite local booksellers, Elliott Bay Books and Open Books: A Poem Emporium.

Maybe I will not find time to volunteer in a soup kitchen, but I will step up the amount of canned goods I donate to our local food bank.

What will you resolve for 2011? Whatever it is, or whether it's nothing at all, I wish you a healthy and happy 2011.


Kathleen said...

Darn it! I think you have inspired me to take stock! I was going to avoid it and just watch squirrels run around in the yard.

rams said...

So, yo! Where's that pantoum?

Martha Silano said...

Sorry, Kathleen, for throwing down the take-stock gauntlet. May it come to some good.

Rams: I keep thinking I will write a poem about a tedious, repetitive, dreaded task, like housework. No luck yet. In the meantime, I love the notion of a Sonnetizio (invented by Kim Addonizio). She has one in her newest book.