I wrote a series of poems about doors a few years ago. I think this is the last one in that series.
April 26, 2011
The door swings gently shut behind me,
moving on its track,
clicking into place.
I know not
whether I am locked inside
or free to move out and through—
choices to embrace.
I admire the door,
the strong wood,
the handle, latch, or knob,
every scuff on its surface,
every whorl and tweak and bob,
the beautiful squealing of the hinges
that have not had any grease,
that minuscule lock-hole,
opening only to a key.
Yesterday on the ride home from work, all the radio stations were playing sad songs, which didn’t make any sense because it was Friday. The DJs should have been playing something more upbeat as a precursor to the weekend. Then “Iris” (Goo Goo Dolls) began to play. (Still a sad song, but at least it was a song I could sing along [badly] to.)
I’ve heard the song countless times, and although it’s horribly mainstream and I’m somewhat of a hipster, I count it among my favorites because (never mind, it doesn’t matter—just listen to the song and you’ll understand). It’s your classic love song and is often played at weddings. But when I heard it today, I thought about it in a new light.
I was thinking of all the Christian rock songs that could very easily be misconstrued as boy-girl romantic love songs and all the boy-girl romantic love songs that could easily be reinterpreted as Christian songs and yearnings for the love of God. The love between two human beings is merely a pale imitation of the love that God has for us.
The lyrics of “Iris” could be interpreted to be about someone at Mass who is distraught because he cannot receive Communion. Perhaps this person is not a Catholic at all but someone who wants to learn more about God and the faith. This person has been misunderstood by the world and everyone in it, and all he wants is to be understood by the One who created him—the only One who could ever understand him completely. Perhaps this person falls to his knees as he hears the words of the consecration and sees the Blessed Sacrament elevated, knowing that he cannot receive Christ’s Body but vowing at that very moment to take the steps he needs to take to someday be able to.
Ah, the beauty of song lyrics and poetry—you can interpret them however you want to.
For some reason, I got the crazy idea that I could write 50,000 words in eight days, thus completing my NaNoWriMo novel in record time. That would come out to 6,250 words per day—an amount that would prove to be painful for one’s wrists. I suppose I thought that it would be doable because November has four Saturdays and four Sundays, so writing 12,500 words each weekend wouldn’t be as terrible as cramming 50,000 words into the last eight days without any kind of break.
Over the years, I’ve found that the maximum number of words I can write in a day is somewhere near 10,000. From what I remember, it takes literally all day and is literally painful, but writing that much can draw you so completely into the story that even though you’re in pain and you’re impatient because you want to get to the other things on your to-do list, you feel as though you don’t want to stop writing because you’re finally getting somewhere.
How many words can you write in a day?