The Emily Project

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I’ll tell you how the sun set…

Happy New Year! As with every fresh, shiny new year, I’m cooking up lots of plans for this one. This year I’m very excited to be collaborating with my dear friend and critique partner Pamela Manasco on a shared project to create our own list of daily readings by Emily Dickinson.

We kicked this idea around toward the end of the old year, and when January 1 hit, we realized we didn’t really know exactly what we were doing. Our next big revelation was that if we didn’t just go ahead and jump in blindly, we would probably stall out. So we began. Each day this year, we will choose an Emily Dickinson poem and post it. We’ve even created a shiny new blog for just that purpose, after using this blog for the first few days

After our first post, a friend asked what exactly our intentions were–would we be posting daily? weekly? We realized we had a lot to suss out. We decided to post daily, and created the new blog. We also realized that life with small children and teaching jobs and critters could get pretty real from time to time, and so we decided that sometimes we’d trade off, while other times we’d have fun chatting about the poems and posting our conversations.

Then another friend suggested that we create some prompts based around the poems. Another great idea! So today we’re offering our first prompt. Being the bite-off-more-than-we-can-chew types we are, we couldn’t decide, so we’re giving you two.

So far, we’ve posted prompts, a conversation, and individual responses by both of us, ranging from intellectual (Pam) to navel-gazing (guess who). I imagine that we don’t yet know exactly what is in store for us as this project unfolds. It’s truly a work in progress, a living and breathing and very messy endeavor.

Very¬†messy. Right now I’m typing as I sit with Thing 2, who goes back to school tomorrow after a long holiday and is Not Into It. I nearly get into a groove when a little voice asks, “Why do you think pencils were invented?” I stop, breathe, try to be compassionate at 10:43 pm. I offer up, “Maybe so people could correct their mistakes?” This answer is insufficient. Apparently it is not what Thing 2 was looking for. I am WRONG. He argues. No one in this house will ever sleep again. Emily Dickinson didn’t have kids. She was a freaking¬†genius.

Earlier, as I was dashing off the day’s post, Things 1 and 2, who are like cats in that they are invisible when you are looking for them but know exactly when you need quiet and magically materialize on top of you, pulled down a curtain in the room where I was writing.

So that’s The Emily Project. A couple of friends carving out little scraps of time for beauty and meaning, for poetry and connection, in the midst of the hustle and bustle. We welcome you to join us.