Make It New

I don’t know much about Ezra Pound, other than he was a poet, a mentor/sponsor to many of the big modernists including Joyce and Hemingway, and he was a big anti-semite.

I also know he wrote a book called Make It New wherein he championed changing up literature in a way that (obvs) left the old ways behind. I don’t really dig the anti-semitism, there, Ezra, but I like your title, and I’m borrowing it for this month’s blog. It’s Make It New Month at One Page For…

 “New” is all around us. Heraclites said “Stop spelling my name wrong. Look it up on Google.” And then he said “You never look at the same river twice.”  Think about it. I love that phrase. It’s so true.

And we never look at the same day twice. We never look the same self in the mirror. Life is in a constant state of  change. And we don’t even have to do anything; the world is renewed every second without our having anything to say about it.

But that’s what makes that word “make” so important. We can’t ever know the future. We can’t control much of it. Good things, bad things, things totally out of the blue are always up around the corner. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take some initiative and try to direct that future just a little bit to get out of it what we want or even need. We do have some power, some control to make things new…if we’re lucky enough to have the health, time,  and opportunity. If we don’t like the old hand we’re dealt, or have gotten bored with it or out grown it, we can find a way to make life new. Can’t we?

I look at my own life right now, about to alter ever so slightly come August when I’ll no longer have the job I’ve depended on for the last five years to keep me afloat. Good bye GRE. Now that’s new. There’s a long boring story behind this change, and it wasn’t exactly my idea or what I was expecting, but, I am not freaked out about it. This is mainly due to the support of my family and another job I can do in the same company. But it’s also due in part to the voice I hear – not Ezra Pound ‘s—  saying:  ” Done with the old, time to make something new happen.” 

So I am. Of course there’s the (not) small pragmatic thing of getting a new form of income. But I’m also taking this as a chance to look at where I’m at in life right now and do some new things. If I’m supposed to be a writer— for no other reason than I keep telling people that and have built my life around that premise—I better get to writing.  So I’ve done something new as a playwright, decided it’s time to stop “waiting on” (as they say down South or in South Holland) traditional avenues  (query letters, and responses a year later…) to get my work read. I’m organizing a debut myself.  (If you haven’t, check out my project, part one, here, if you have a sec.)

One role model in this pursuit is the great playwright Athol Fugard.  He got actors together and took care of business. They believed they had something to say. They risked arrest in Apartheid South Africa to say it.

I’m no Fugard. But he’s the writer I most want to emulate. I have to have a little faith in myself. I have to be willing to have faith in other artists. And  I’d better be able to woman-up and  risk  something as silly as a little bit of failure. Seriously, that’s part of the deal. And it’s nothing compared to what Fugard and his company put on the line. “Making it new” isnt easy, is it? But in this case, if I don’t, I might as well just go work in a bank.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. (In fact, if   any of you know  a bank that’s hiring….)

I’m also putting together some essays to submit. The point of that is to try to do what I do on this blog– except for money. lol. I’m finding that really rewarding and educational, so even if it doesn’t work out, it’s a new twist on my writing path and I’m going to be better for it.

But this is all a lot of stuff about me. What about you?

I challenge anyone who reads this blog to apply “make it new”  to your own life . It may be doing  a big thing you have been meaning to do , taking a risk you’ve been meaning to take,  appreciating something you have been taking for granted, altering  how you deal with a person in your life- or even how you deal with yourself. I challenge you to make some part of your life new– for the better – this month. And while you’re at it, you’ll make part of the world new this month by being in it in a new way. Drop in the bucket. Ripple effect. You know what I’m saying.

Let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading,

Beth

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