Sunday, 13 August 2017

Catching up : Write...Edit...Publish...August 2017



It’s time to get back to Write...Edit...Publish... hosted by authors Denise and YolandaPosting a bit early as per host request :) As always, pleased to be back at WEP after a too hectic home leave, still settling down! 

Home leave is just another phrase for reunions of course, catching up with friends and family, after a year in my case. But that’s not what this post's about. I've repurposed an ancient poem of mine for this entry, a villanelle written years ago. 


Often times the lives and the faces we show at reunions preclude the painful, the sad, the not-so-shiny parts of our lives in the interim and that is what these two characters are doing in this piece, hiding the really painful bits. Words to share them are difficult to come by when a friend meets another suddenly after a long time, both parties assume everything is great, and the appearances on social media reinforce that impression. Contradicting those and dealing with the fall out takes huge amounts of courage. How do you tell your best friend at school - who you haven't seen for a couple decades - that your child is an addict, or perhaps your partner is abusive, or your parent has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or ... ? How do you find the words?

Sometimes we hide things to spare the other party needless pain, sometimes to forget our own, who knows?  "To divert the heart, O Ghalib, this figment is good enough."




Catching up

You don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love,
I too omit a few of my sorrows -
it takes more than just talk to catch up.

We mouth the trivial, chat the smallest stuff -
the monsoon roads, the political lows,
you don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love.

The intervening years have been too rough
but you make sure not a single thing shows.
It takes more than just talk to catch up.

Once one glance at you would be enough -
but vision rarely sharpens as one grows;
you don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love.

I can only see your pearly, opaque cup -
it’s filled or not the glaze doesn’t expose,
it takes more than just talk to catch up.

We're used to dealing with life’s ruthless snubs,
our grief is ours alone, and no-one knows.
You don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love,
it takes more than just talk to catch up.


WC - 160. All feedback welcome. 


Enjoy the other entries here:






35 comments:

  1. This is lovely - and so very true. Yet again I have been moved and awed by all the WEP contributions I have read.

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    1. Denise popping in to say how much we appreciate you as an enthusiastic reader, Sue.

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    2. Second Denise most heartily! Thank you,EC.

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    3. The pleasure and the privilege are mine.

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  2. Masterfully done villanelle.
    Shared this post

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    1. Thanks for reading and sharing,much value the feedback.

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  3. Hi Nila - we do lose the empathy we feel when we see people regularly ... talk is fine, but sometimes we need to be there ... to understand where they are at. Losing a loved one - just snaps the branch off ... we need to join them in their times of need. Beautifully expressed - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, and you're so right! A deep loss changes a person's perspective and unless someone has witnessed the events that's hard to share in casual conversation.

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  4. It is too easy to talk around the deep subjects we'd really rather discuss.

    Well done and welcome back

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    1. Thank you. Small talk is way overused compared to 'deep' talk.

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  5. Hi Nila! Welcome home! Love your piece, love the alternate refrain. So true. It takes a lot of caring to dig below the social chit chat, doesn't it? '...'It takes more than just talk to catch up.' And you definitely don't mention losing someone you love to someone who probably doesn't care...

    Thanks for your early entry! (I'm not leaving for Europe until 8th September). Have to get WEP sorted before then!

    And good news! I've just wrapped up at the Romance Writers of Australia conference. Pitched my Paris novel to 2 big American publishers -- Avon Books and Tule -- they both want a full manuscript. Pretty groovy, eh? Now back to work!! In a writing daze!!

    Denise :-)

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    1. Hi Denise, that's super awesome news! So very pleased for you! Am a fan of your Paris fiction pieces, as you know. :) Wishing you a swift path to publication.

      Once a connect is snapped, it does take 'more than talk' to get back on the same wavelength. The villanelle, like the sonnet, is quite a rigid form. It appeals to me because of its extreme shortness (fits in word limits almost everywhere! :D) and repetition.

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  6. It's hard to share and sometimes it's hard not to, but knowing when is the hardest of all. The word 'fine' has always been the cover we've used isn't it?
    A beautiful piece, Nila, as always! One that touches the heart in many way!

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    1. So true,Yolanda! The timing is the most agonising decision of all.

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  7. How true: "It takes more than just talk to catch up." Your entire poem resonates. I am having a reunion at the moment with two university friends. Both are staying with me in Vancouver. One came from Israel, another from Los Angeles. We haven't met together, all three of us, for almost 40 years. So wonderful and so strange. We age but we don't change.

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    1. How lovely! to think that the prompt has dovetailed into a real, live reunion! Completely agree with you about reunions being wonderful and strange. Close friendships can be rekindled in an instant, no matter how long the break.

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  8. I love villanelle style poems, and yours is no exception. A great use of the prompt.

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    1. The Villanelle is one of my favourite forms too!

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  9. This has so much truth to it, and made me think of a reunion I had a few years ago with someone I used to know. There really was so much left unsaid. Your repetition of not mentioning the loss of a loved on was so touching.
    Great to meet you thanks to the WEP!

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    1. Most important things are the ones that are most often left unsaid. Lovely to meet you too. Your entry was beyond amazing. Thanks.

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  10. Very true, we only beat around the bush and relay the best parts. The true stuff one is thinking often does go unsaid. Great verse indeed.

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    1. Relaying parts of the truth is what we seem to be good at, and we're getting better at it all the time :)

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  11. I love the repetition and how you used it in this poem. It takes more than just talk to catch up.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. Repetition is a key aspect of this form, lends it a characteristic musicality imho. Glad you liked it. Peace to you.

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  12. Your villanelle was excellent, and I immediately connected to that reunion and that feeling of the need for social veneer. Peel that away and raw reality invades the party. Great job.

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    1. Thank you. Sometimes social veneers can be for comfort, but most of the time they get in the way of truth.

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  13. Its painful to bring up lost love to those we've been out of touch with for so long. I've talked to many old friends who did not know my older sister and brother were deceased. Its embarrassing for them, and for me me when I realize how out of touch I've been with their lives also. Did not know of divorce, or deaths of children. Life can be devastating.

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    1. Life can be devastating. You nailed the exact thing this poem is about, Donna. Talking about deep trauma in a lighthearted conversation can feel it's trivialising those life events, and out-of-place. I am so very sorry to hear about your losses.

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  14. So true...and, unfortunately, the older I get, the less I share of myself. A pity, I know....

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    1. I don't think it's unfortunate - reticence about what details we choose to share about our lives is not necessarily a bad thing. Entirely an individual decision.

      Great to meet you through the WEP.

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  15. This shows how artificial and almost pointless this type of reunion can be. It is really not a reunion at all but people not connecting and putting on a false front to each other.

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    1. The kind of reunion where the idea is not to reconnect but to show off 'happening' lives - ya, seems pretty pointless indeed.

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  16. How true that we don't want to reveal what's not so great when we see someone whom from our past. Sometimes we don't want the pity, it would make us cry. Even though the poem may be resurrected, the words are what makes us feel the sorrow. Well done, as always.

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    1. Ignore that 'whom', I changed my mind in mid-sentence. . .alas.

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    2. Exactly, DG. Sometimes people keep quiet because they don't know what the reaction to their words will be, and they don't want to deal with the pity and the bafflement. Most people don't know what to say/do when confronted with grief/trauma. There are no appropriate words. Thanks for visiting here.

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