Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 26, 2008

No Measures

A lobsterman in an orange jacket stands in a bobbing white boat on the gray sea. I’m sitting still on a sofa with my laptop actually on my lap, but I feel as if I’m bobbing too. I watch him throw out a line, risk his balance. Am I risking mine?

I’m working on some poetry today and feel like I’m teetering off and on. I want something to grab hold of, but there really isn’t anything. I wish someone could tell me, you’ve got that right, or even, no, that’s not it yet. But this time of trying words is living without rails or anything solid to grasp. There aren’t measures for good or bad while we make up things as we go along. Who could know for sure what is brilliant and what’s tired? What might move another person or what might leave them cold? We can’t know and have to keep going, remembering others have found something useful, and sometimes treasures, under the sea before us and there’s bound to be more.

It strikes me several times a day here: that ocean is big.



  1. I’m loving reading your seaside posts.

  2. I love this post. You capture so many feelings here, Jeannine, that are just so universal. Thank you!

  3. I feel like I’m there with you J! Such beautiful language in your posts – I’m sure you’re poetry is also singing.

  4. Thanks Jeannine! I really needed to read that this morning. 🙂
    The ocean is soooo big today.

  5. Thanks! I’m loving being seaside.

  6. thank you, Kate.

  7. thanks, Nan. Wish you were here writing quietly nearby, passing the iced tea.

  8. Nice to know we have eyes on the same ocean today. Peter and Pat just took off for a bike ride, sunscreened and bug-sprayed,and now I’m going to open up my novel files!

  9. Oooh, sounds so nice 🙂

  10. No rails–what a perfect image. I’m there myself this week on a project I’m not talking about yet. The gap between what you know is in your head and what you see yourself putting on paper–or just that sense that you can’t even SEE if its a gap. Maybe you’re getting it, maybe you’re not. I took a day off today & worked on the YA, just to hope for some more clarity of vision tomorrow.
    Keep playing. The only way to know for sure is to put the words on paper first. My guess is that you’ve got mostly beauty and maybe a little bit of just pretty. 🙂

  11. um and maybe a lot of dreck, but thanks for the optimism, Becky! Sending it back to you. Hope you find a few jewels looking back.

  12. Great analogy, Jeannine. And poetry by the ocean…what could be better?

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