In high school I always hoped for “June Gloom” weather. Growing up in California, “June Gloom” referred to the cloudy and often times rainy weather during the month of June. Considering how hot it can get in California, it was a nice break for me especially since I had P.E. as my last class which was particular horrendous when forced to run in 100+ degrees F weather.
Whowudda thought many years later I’d now be living in a country where the “gloom” would extend to most parts of the year. (Ironically, this week has been quite sunny – isn’t that a record?)
That said, it’s now June, and I haven’t posted a blog since December. I’ve quite a few blog drafts but just never got around to finishing them. So I figured I’d write a recap of the last few months.
In January I pretty much hibernated. Nothing exciting to report.
In February I somehow came out of early hibernation and went to my first poetry workshop. From the very first confirmation email the organizer was very welcoming and supportive. The theme was “snow,” and for the first couple of hours we worked on a number of exercises which included jotting down words and phrases from memory as well as from the images that were passed around. Once the exercises were done, we had an hour to work on our poems before sharing with everyone.
I have to admit, I already had an idea and used that as a starting point. I was pretty impressed with some of the phrases I came up yet struggled trying to fit them into my poem. I kept going back and forth with sticking with my initial idea or starting from scratch. I ended up doing the former but wasn’t completely satisfied with my poem. One hour was not enough!
I enjoyed listening to everyone’s poems. There was one I really liked – I can’t recall the poem now but it was very simple yet clever. I thought that I’d hear a few self-confessional poems, however mine was the only one. And I decided not to share my poem mainly because it wasn’t finished. But also because the poem itself was quite personal and it would be like reading out loud a diary entry. In fact, I actually did bring my journal to use for the workshop.
I definitely want to attend another workshop and hopefully do this regularly. I need to practice other styles apart from self-confessional poetry. And I definitely need to share my work in order to get feedback. I just need to suck it up and do it!
Also in February I started taking yoga classes again. I figured I’d start off with Hatha Yoga and ease my way back into it again. Just a minute into class I realized I was in the wrong class, Ashtanga Yoga. At first I panicked then decided to stick with it and somehow I did alright for my first time.
In March I somehow managed to finish (and survive, unscathed) this monster of a 10k run (and when they mean 10k they mean 15k) at night, in 0°C with snow, mud, streams, and up/down two fairly large hills in Scotland. In a t-shirt and shorts. Yep, never doing that again.
I attended Poets After Dark in April, an event at the Hayward Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition, The Light Show. Ten poets (Mimi Khavlati, Sam Riviere, Kate Tempest, Simon Barraclough, Tamar Yoseloff, Julia Bird, Chris McCabe, Amjad Nasser, Sabrina Mahfouz and Vahni Capildeo) were commissioned to write and perform a poem about one of the works in the show. It was actually nice to see both the performance and the inspiration simultaneously together. A more thorough synopsis to be blogged soon!
I accomplished something quite significant in May - I managed to do a back bend with ease for the first time ever! Thanks, Ashtanga Yoga! Next goal – head stand.
That’s it for now. I’m off to see the new Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Sou Fujimoto, that is, weather permitting. So much for the sunny weather!