elynn alexander. reader, writer, perpetual student. mother. artist. maker. poet. volunteer. meeting attender. rearranger. picture taker. assembler. baker. story jotter. garden believer. walker of great dogs.
why a blog? why not…
I am old enough to have grown up without the internet, but young enough for it to be a huge part of my life. I still like paper, performance, art, real tangible things. I still like to make books and zines and while many of my projects in small press are digital, I still like things that I can put on a shelf. That is pretty obvious to visitors of my home, where I have books in every room and a pretty decent collection of poetry chapbooks and zines. One of my long term plans is a small library and reading room. Someday.
I am pretty into working on projects with my hands: art, assemblage, jewelry, working with new materials that I find, creating things out of other things. Kind of cool that this is all so trendy now, because way back I was a “gross garbage picker”. Now, I am a proud “upcycler”!
I sell some things, but have a j-o-b. I don’t pay my bills with poems or pendants and essays and I am at peace with that. I am not convinced that this means I suck and I’m doomed to a life of angst… I think it is important to avoid defining ourselves and our “value” with categories and social benchmarks. Only we know what we “should” be doing. We have to figure that out for ourselves.
I try to trade my time for things I need in ways that agree with my conscience as much as possible and examine what “need” means to me, in a world of wants. I am many things, some lead to cash in my pocket. Some do not. Most do not. I can’t carry anger around about a stupid world that undervalues me. I can’t expect returns on my academic, emotional, and social investments. Expectations and reality rarely match. Such goals often run us off of the road and leave us feeling bewildered and scammed.
I can’t look at what everyone else is doing or getting, and I can’t look at my effort or degrees or my life and bitterly holler “WHY NOT ME?? I work hard at this stuff!”
Sometimes it is me, usually it isn’t. Great things can’t be the fodder of everyone’s life, after all. Sometimes I am working hard on different things.
Sometimes I am working on other people’s things.
Sometimes I am working for my family, the real bosses in all of this.
My life has already exceeded my expectations, I have more than I truly need.
They say that there are people out there who are happier with less than what you’ve got- and that is true. There are. I have plenty. I have not gotten my way on every dream or wish but who does? I have to pay my bills in the world I live in, not the world I want. I have to work for that world when I can and when I can’t, I have to be ok with setting aside what I cannot keep on my plate.
I have a website so I won’t repeat what I have over there. I have this blog to share things that are important to me. It helps me connect with other people. Pretty simple.