... was the question, in the space there is?
I'm scarcely qualified to answer, but at odd moments, now and then, in a state either of ignorant hubris or utterly undeserved blessing, possibly both, certainly blessing, certainly undeserved, I think perhaps I get an inkling. So I've answered it anyway. It's here, my response to Joe's last in the 'Questions' series at the Compasses blog.
What did I do to deserve the most trusted and trustworthy, respectful but no-shit critical reader and friend, who never makes me feel small or patronised, but can say 'you could...' and I say 'but I don't want to' and he says, 'don't then, but read it so and see' and I do and it really is better, so I change it and feel better for it. I don't want prescriptive, judgemental, edgy writing groups, on or off-line, I don't want poetry as a contact sport, I don't want to call myself a poet, though I wouldn't mind having what it takes to be one, but I'm joyful and thankful for what I've got, and how.
And what did I do to make a real poet friend, even an ocean away who I've never seen, whose poems are luscious and heartbreaking and full of vivid juice and feeling and complexity, who tells me she wants one of my blue photos to go on the cover of her next collection?
What did I do to to deserve a yes when I feared a no?
What did I do to deserve any of it? Nothing, and that's not self-abasement or little me or fishing for compliments, really. It's just a deep and grateful wonder at my good luck at how things are.
I'll try to get one more post up before Christmas.
Postscript to "Precipitous slippage"
2 hours ago