I like making up words. So there's one for you. We needed it.

Exam revision (studying) is long and lonely. Writing is lonely. When Walker was sitting across from me today and kept saying really sweet things, I had to say at one point, “I’m in this poem. Don’t pull me out!” because I was afraid that being back in the living room, outside the poem, would ruin all the sounds in my head.

This morning I sat on the couch and thought, and wrote, about the past. I wondered how well I know people whom I think I know well, when I can’t remember the sound of their voice. So much of writing is imagining into a memory, taking it back when it's just barely visible and building it up enough to describe them in a new way, into its own little word---a poem. Writing in the moment is nearly impossible for me; I need my memory to process it all and present it again in a new way. So, writing requires both this intense solitude, as well as moments when beauty is saturated in.

Hence, the photodate. We’ve both been laboring away at our solitary endeavors, and we needed refreshment, beauty.

We were really, really enthused to receive a new camera for Christmas (giddy, that would be), so with two swanky cameras and a snowy beach, we headed out trying not to bump lenses into each others' sides. Nigh impossible.


As always, my husband’s eye is quite superior to mine, but it was fun to be swapping cameras and showing each other our shots nonetheless. We took the path we always do on beach walks, from our flat,


over crunching snow


through the last street in town


to the North Sea. I love those words. North Sea.


My words falter when I try to describe it. Clear, alive, brutal, dramatic. I can never stop looking at it once I'm there. Addicting.


He took that like so. I've mentioned Walk loves his wellies?


In a fire, I'd save my cello, he'd save his wellies.


I don't venture quite so near the icy rills. I'll leave the experience to my imagination


where I might step onto another planet.


I think I'll stay here though, thanks, for things like beautiful poetry that would be hard to survive without. I just devoured Mary Oliver's Swan (Christmas gift from my in-laws; thanks!). Her poetry is clear and accessible, and if you think you don't understand poetry, you'll like hers. Swan includes a poem that reminds me of the rest of the photos, "For Example". In it, a gull is injured. The stanza that catches in my throat is this:

I love this world, even in its hard places,


A bird too must love this world,


even in its hard places.


So, even if the effort may come to nothing,


you have to do something.

So many somethings to do . . .

Happy Tuesday!