discoveries and intentions – reflections on 2016

I’ve taken up the suggestion to reflect on this year. I hadn’t intended to, but once I read Michelle W’s suggestions on The Daily Post, it immediately seemed such a helpful thing to do.

This year is the first time I’ve really committed to writing and what I’m most proud of is the amount I’ve written throughout the year, and that I’ve stuck with it. Although its interesting to note that my posting peaked mid-year, I wonder why…?

I like getting feedback – and responding to others’ work. From being initially so hesitant about posting anything, this year has seen me grow in confidence, and much of that is due to the positive feedback I’ve received. So thank you to all who took the time to write something to me – it means more than you might realise.

Realising that getting only a few likes on a piece doesn’t mean its un-liked – it may just have gone unseen.

I’m getting better at using tags, and this may help bring my work to more people.

Participating in challenges eg: “intro to poetry” (responding to daily prompt words) was indeed challenging, but also rewarding. It pushed me to explore my work, and question my habits. It provided opportunities for increased interactions with other writers.

It was interesting to look through this year’s posts, and follow the suggestion of using the ten with the most “likes” to make a wordcloud. These aren’t necessarily the ten I would have chosen – so I made two wordclouds – most likes and my choice.

Be brave and keep sharing my work with others. Make the most of opportunities eg writing workshops. Set up regular writing cafe sessions with a friend who writes. Send some pieces out to magazines etc – and/or self publish?

I’ve been working through this year’s crop of poems – and its interesting how I can work on crafting these now – much more objective – more able to think yes-that stays, no-wrong word-change it, no-that doesn’t belong-cut completely.

Tidy up the photography section of my blog – and add more to this. It was meant to be a stand-alone category, but I found that the photos I took became integrated into my writing – so I need to think about whether I even keep it. I still need a photo of a “list of birds”.

And – I realised I never did write something for Bowie – this may well come early January next year – “its been a year …” – listening to Blackstar and thinking about the lyrics eg: “spirit rose a metre and stepped aside”, “you know I’ll be free”.

I welcome the new year – I wonder what it will bring?


walking alone

walking alone
on the empty beach
through driftwood
piled up on the sand
sea-worn skeletons
of storm-torn trees

and the footprints of past visitors
crossing and re-crossing
disordered, cryptic pathways
and leading nowhere

it could be easy to start
worrying about purpose and meaning
to become lost in memories
and regrets

but I revel in places like this
the emptiness gives me space to breathe
I can expand into it
I feel lighter, pressure lifts

there is a change in perspective
as the natural world
goes about its business
and I am irrelevant
my worries are nothing

there is a calm excitement
as if at any moment the whole world
could shift and become something new

I feel the past
the timeline of history
in every scrap of wood and sand
and dog-print and shell
and I sink into it
and becoming absorbed by it all is affirming and healing

a bird flies right past me
I look up
sea birds fill the beach and sky

I watch one
repeatedly flying up
then down again
to the low tide line

I realise it is dropping
a shellfish
over and over
persisting until it breaks open
and it can feed on the sweet flesh

that’s life really

we keep going
until the work of living
reveals its secrets and rewards

and on days like this
in places like this
I have no doubt
my footprints join the rest
my pathway just as hidden
my dreams fly with the birds
my intentions just as clear


© Claire Griffin 2016