Emily’s Quest

September 22, 2009

Days Like These

There are always days like these.

Days when you feel so shit you just have to revel in it.  Days when demotivation is like a cloak you curl up in, a familiar blanket, a snuggle rug.  Days when you wonder who you are and why and most importantly, how?  How how how?  How do you know, how do you find out, how do you live yourself each day and not lose yourself and still love yourself and not give yourself over to the darkness under the blanket, under the thick, warm, familiar blanket?

Days when you just have to swear out loud, SWEAR in capital letters, even if only in an e-mail, days when you are grateful to have a friend who has shit days too, who swears back, who laughs when you laugh because laughing is the only option left aside from despair and I would choose laughing any day.

Days when all you can do is wrap yourself in musical words, in the thoughts you had that other people wrote but better, in the melody of lyric and verse.  Days when all you can do is drink wine and toast to the darkening sky and be here now because later is too much to contemplate, later is in the too hard basket, later is like the dishes in the sink that you leave for tomorrow morning (when they’ll be so much muckier).

If you’re going to give yourself fully to the good days, why not give yourself fully to the shit ones?  This, too, is life.  This, too, is living.

There will always be days like these.  Today is one too.


November 22, 2008

In Other Words

Filed under: Poetry and Writing — Tags: — Emily @ 5:25 pm

For some reason, I’m a little bit in love with this poem.  Would love your feedback.

Me, In Other Words

In other words,
an Other’s words
can show more self than
self in silence –
a thousand sepia memories fade
in face of single sequin couplet
from agéd pen of men long dead but
more alive on faded page
than I in vital flesh that finds
blood on quill and morphine rhyme
and ink in choking veins.

October 28, 2008

One Month – 50,000 Words

Filed under: Poetry and Writing — Tags: , — Emily @ 12:38 pm

Four days until that pinnacle of writing madness begins once again, that literary Everest, the writer’s marathon: NaNoWriMo.  An endearing if slightly geeky sounding little nickname for National Novel Writing Month – which is now actually an international phenomenon. 

The idea is this: you have the month of November.  You have an itching yearning to write but are somehow always blocked.  Solution: NaNoWriMo.  You must write an entire novel in the month of November – at least 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th.  This novel can be the most utter trash anyone’s ever read or written in their entire lives.  It’s not about quality.  It’s about quantity.  Write any crap, as long as you’re writing, and writing a lot. 

50,000 words in 30 days means you need to average at least 1,667 words per day, or 12550 words per week.  Hark back to your student days and consider writing an entire undergrad essay every single day for a month.  This is a lot more fun though, because presumably your undergrad essays couldn’t include pirates, dragons, The Archangel of Doom, or whatever else your imagination cares to throw in that day.

If you’ve ever had the secret yearning to write, this is a great way to unblock your creative juices and let them flow.  It doesn’t matter if its crap and no one ever has to read it – you can just let go and write, write, write.  The website www.nanowrimo.org has an active community, where you can create a profile, update your daily word count, and connect with real live people in your city.  They even hold real life write-ins.  Picture a handful of crazed and sleep deprived wannabe writers sitting around with laptops and coffee, spurring each other on to just write that next 100 words, and then the next, and the next.  Crazy writing literary madness!

I will be partaking in my first ever NaNoWriMo this year, and it is both terrifying and exciting.  Given that I have a basic plot idea (although I don’t know how it ends) and a handful of characters with juicy secrets and private yearnings, I seem to be doing better than most participants, who dive in headfirst without the inkling of an idea.  Still, 50,000 words is a lot of words, and 30 days is not a very long time…

Stay tuned!  And even better – join me!

October 26, 2008


Filed under: Poetry and Writing — Tags: , — Emily @ 6:32 pm

Given my current circumstances, this seems like an appropriate public debut of my poetry.  I wrote it last time I came home to Wellington for a holiday in July, before having to head back to my then-life in Auckland.  I will resist the urge to provide a commentary on it just now… although it will no doubt follow in due course.


This city misses you
It’s once-child
Wide eyes newthought-brimming
Opening books like dreams
Held by wind that tears you –

Seaspray, madness:
Warm freedom.

Crawl back now in
New life’s momentpause
Calmed by storms-eye healing
Gale force whispers recall
Once-dreams, forgotten,
Songs on stony hills –

This city remembers you
To yourself
Your song-core, hidden
In tears of years and
Theory, hardened;
Calls out from you your
Word-self, rhythm –
Your one-time driver.

Cool zephyrs ever-present
Relentless, coolbreeze-asking:
Where you went
Deep parts of you
Betrayed by facts-experiment
Could here in gentle rebirth take,
In salty windswept arms, you in
Sweet murmurs ask for choice
Remember: self-songs
Please – come home.

Emily Rainsford
9 July 2008

October 25, 2008

The Wheel Change

Filed under: Poetry and Writing — Tags: , , , — Emily @ 12:08 pm

The following is one of my favourite German poems.  Although it sounds a little more melancholy than I am actually feeling right now, it still captures a curious sense of something that I identify with:

Der Radwechsel – Bertolt Brecht

Ich sitze am Strassenhang

Der Fahrer wechselt das Rad.

Ich bin nicht gerne, wo ich herkomme.

Ich bin nicht gerne, wo ich hinfahre.

Warum sehe ich den Radwechsel

Mit Ungeduld?

Here is my own translation:

The Wheel Change

I sit on the kerb

The driver changes the wheel.

I don’t like to be, where I’m coming from.

I don’t like to be, where I’m going to.

Why do I watch the wheel change

With impatience?

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