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Day 13: Giving Up, Trying, and Succeeding

This Day 13 of my 1000-Day MFA, a DIY education project I’ve undertaken that I learned about from writer Shaunta Grimes. You can read more about how I’m engaging with it here. My M.O. is to choose poems, essays and short stories from the vast treasure chest of the library, and say a few words about each. But today, I’ve made the terrifying decision to post a poem, essay and short story written by me.

Poem: No! by Tina Lear

Essay: "For Us There Is Only the Trying" by Tina Lear

Short Story: Enlightningment (a short story) by Tina Lear

No! Sometimes, we’ve given up and others come in and save us — angels, energies from beyond, often actual people. Other forces stepped in and grabbed us from the mouth of danger and we lived to tell the tale. That’s the feeling that gave life to this poem.

For Us There Is Only the Trying We all come into the world with lessons we’re meant to learn. Some of them we have to learn over and over, in all sizes, languages and colors. Letting go of perfectionism is one such lesson for me. Anne Lamott helps me a lot in this, as does T. S. Eliot, and many others. This essay examines how I try to be perfect, how I try to let go, and how I’ve learned to just be with the trying.

Enlightningment (a short story) In Julia Cameron’s The Vein of Gold, she exhorts her students to “Kill a Creative Monster” from our past. I did that exercise some ten years ago. This story has been incubating all along. I don’t know if it’s done. But I wanted it to see the light of day, just to see what would happen.

May we all find the courage to show our true faces, to the end of our days.

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