This year marked the first anniversary of the passing of our son. Leading up to those difficult days, I was away at the first residency of the Pacific University MFA in writing program, shivering through an Oregon Winter. During the semester that followed, I studied with Joseph Millar, and began writing in earnest about grief, with his support. After the second residency, I studied with Sandra Alcosser, and began exploring the lyric and meditative traditions, deepening my understanding of the relationship between inner and outer experience, and therein finding a voice. I feel that I have made remarkable progress in my writing this year.
Later in the year, Pacific University’s MFA was named one of the top five low-residency programs in the country by Atlantic Monthly. This year, I also had one poem published, albeit belatedly, in our nation’s oldest literary magazine, and was a featured reader at several local venues. I also gave my first paid lecture on poetry and craft.
We returned to London this summer, and were sorry to leave. I walked in the graduation ceremony for my Doctorate in Spiritual Science, after seven years of transformative studies. And, when the 2007 Ojai Poetry Festival rolled around, I redesigned their website and orchestrated their online ticket sales.
I have written very little about technology in the past year, focusing my efforts much more on poetry and its significance, personally and universally. Still, this site has retained an audience of about four thousand unique visitors each month–although likely from a different demographic now than when my thoughts on PHP programming were widely syndicated. I have met some remarkable poets and readers through the blogosphere, and even broke down not long ago, after long resistance, to begin harassing my friends through social networking websites.
Several friends and acquaintances passed away this year, including the poet Sandford Lyne, who sped me on my way to Pacific with heartfelt encouragement and a letter of recommendation. The temporal and precious nature of life has never impressed upon me more. As the third residency of the MFA program approaches, and soon after that the second anniversary of our brief time with James, I marvel that such a rich, full year has passed, with me in it–writing, reading, loving–and learning to hope again.