I'm spending the next week or so in my hometown of sorts, Victoria BC.
I say "hometown of sorts" because I don't know many people here anymore. Beyond my immediate family, most of my friends have moved to other locales. Despite my many years at UVic for my undergrad, and a few summers at UVic for my graduate degree, I haven't really built up many regularly-maintained friendships here. It's hard to see a city as my hometown when I can so easily wander the streets with such anonymity.
So I'm trying to find some other ways to enjoy the town. Yesterday, I attended a MeetUp with Victoria Verse, a little poetry group here in town that weekly meets at a coffee shop to write some poetry. This week's goal was to write some sonnets. I felt this might be useful for me because I'm teaching Writing 12 this year, and meeting with some writers might help me get my own creative juices flowing a little.
Which it did. Here's the sonnet I wrote:
The poem describes the terrifying moment last summer when I dragged our dog, Rosita, underneath our pickup after she jumped out of the box. Fortunately, she's in good shape now, despite many scars on her legs and belly. I'm happy that I will likely get to live with her when I move to Agassiz on the 1st.
I haven't had a hometown, really, since I moved from Victoria. When I move to Agassiz, I will have lived in most of the small communities in the Upper Fraser Valley: 6 years in Hope, 1½ in Harrison Hot Springs, 1½ in Chilliwack, and now Agassiz for a few. However, I don't think any of these have gotten to constitute as a "hometown." In my last few locales, I haven't really gotten to know the people who live around me. I've isolated myself from my communities for this reason or that reason.
Self-isolation isn't necessarily a problem on its own. However, I feel like I need to do a far better job at "getting out there" in the community, even if I don't know if I'm going to live there for very long. I'm glad to have things like MeetUp for learning about different groups because I spent so many years in organizations that arranged my friend groups for me: churches, schools, and universities gather semi-likeminded people together so your friend pool is significantly smaller. I'm going to have to learn how to extrovert as I step out on my own. Again.
A few posts ago, I concluded that I needed to re-read some Rilke. When I wrote it, I had wanted to post Phyllis Webb's poem about Rilke, but I wasn't at home and couldn't find it online. Here it is, although I admit I'm posting this without permission:
I reluctantly took this photo from a textbook, not one of my many Phyllis Webb books (see below). Unfortunately, the disorder of my life is clearly reflected in the disorder of my home, and I cannot access her books at the moment. "Rilke" by Phyllis Webb in 15 Canadian Poets x3, ed. Gary Geddes. Toronto: Oxford. 2001. 144.
My last entry, titled "Needs," highlighted my continuing efforts to identify my own needs after years of self-denial in the name of religion. I've been slowly working my way through this workshop about Marshall Rosenberg's NonViolent Communication method. This morning, when I started the video while doing the laundry, he talked a little about needs, and I listened.
Starting at 1:41:50:
The crazy thing is, however, that it still makes very little sense to me. I feel like I've been psychologically gypped (slurbedamned) out of an essential life skill. I am annoyed.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas