Memorial Day 2016 by Will Ringland

We spent the weekend visiting family (my in-laws) in Okiboji, IA. This is the first time in memory that I've done anything which included celebrating the actual Memorial Day holiday.

It was poignant. Both MJ (Alyska's mother) and I lost a parent this year and had someone to remember. The photos below are from the cemetery laying flowers at graves for family passed long ago and family not so long ago.



Stone Petals

Stone Petals

Planting (with apologies to MJ for the angle...)

Planting (with apologies to MJ for the angle...)

Those Recent

Those Recent

Prior to this, Alyska and I visited a very old family cemetery.

It was lovely being a part of this and capturing some photos for it. It's the kind of thing everyone hates doing in the moment - I dislike taking photos as I desire not to disrupt things - but is nice to see after when you do get a few impactful shots.

My family never really celebrated Memorial Day. We are bad at holidays in general and we've not too many veterans in the family nor did we do much to remember past family. I think we're more of a memento group. There were always artefacts from family in close proximity in the house - pictures, awards, etc - which translates to a sort of constant rememberance that dulls to mostalgia over time.

My Dad's birthday was Sunday, he would have been 70, and I only sort of recognized it as I was spending time with still-new family. Aside from the little guilt (there's always guilt) at realizing I didn't mark it specifically (we're bad at holidays). I did look through some of the hournaling I did in February while I was with Dad in his last days.

It's still a little fresh for a full-on Memorial Day, I think, and the artefacts around the house are still above a dull roar. We'll see how next year goes.

I am Torn by Will Ringland

I’ve been looking at sending poetry for publication. Like to paper publications, publications that offer money or prizes. A number of the publications I like require that poems submitted be unpublished, of course, but that definition now includes publication to personal blogs.

Why do you even post to your blog?

I publish to my blog for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a mental “final step” that says I’m done editing.
  2. I’d like feedback from readers.
  3. I like y’all to know I’m still alive.

To a degree I feel a mighty need, likely from over a decade of blogging, to get stuff out there regularly. I like writing; I find it satisfying, and knowing people are reading makes it doubly so. But the prospect of formal publication (and, dare I hope, payment?) is awfully tantalizing...

...even as the thought of not posting a poem so I can try to get it published in a more formal way is irksome...

Which also implies thati believe putting it on a blog is not formal publication.

Which is curious…

So.. I’m sort of at a loss.

To post or to publish?