I set myself a writing goal for Lent: one poem a day, related in some way to the daily readings. I knew it would be a challenge, but I sit down to write almost every day anyway, so it should have been just the first part of my usual writing time, repurposed.
I did not expect it to be so hard.
I think I’ve missed one day so far, so that feels like a victory. (Jacob has decided he does still need naps after all, so that has made it much easier.) Quality is another matter entirely. Sometimes I look at the readings and think, “What could I possibly have to say about that?” Sometimes I don’t even get that far – I feel too tired to even read, much less make something of my own. In those times I do it just because I said I would, and sometimes I’m rewarded by a poem that isn’t totally terrible.
Needless to say, I haven’t written anything I’m willing to share. Yet.
Also, I will not be continuing this practice after Easter. I had a teacher in middle school who had stopped giving things up for Lent, because everything she gave up for Lent she ended up giving up for good. I’ve never had that problem, and don’t expect to start now.
On the other hand, this feels like a “storing up treasure” experience – besides the close attention it’s forced me to pay to Scripture, I’ll have forty-ish first-draft poems by Easter. That’s months and months of revisioning waiting to happen…and while some of them will certainly be left on the shelf, there are already a couple I’m excited to spend some more time with, to dig deeper into, and form something thoughtful and perhaps even beautiful.
Also, I am looking forward to Holy Week. I may skip the readings for Holy Saturday and write about the Exsultet. It includes bees. Twice. That’s liturgy I can get behind.