April is the Cruelest Month

Those of you who follow me on a somewhat regular basis know that I am slightly obsessed with T.S. Eliot. Okay, maybe more than slightly. Like all things that I find myself fascinated with, Eliot has become a part of my soul, an ever present voice in my mind, a talisman against a world gone mad. I think that for me, there is no in between, only obsession or disinterest. It makes me a difficult person to live with. Just ask my husband.

Anyway, I thought that we would take a look at Eliot’s famous lines from his poem, “The Waste Land,” and talk a little bit about growth, pain, and stress.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Normally, when we think of spring, we think of beauty and life. A rebirth of the world. But we often forget how painful birth is, how violent. Growth is not an easy task. It is far simpler to hibernate, as Eliot reminds us, “Winter kept us warm, covering/Earth in forgetful snow.” I would encourage you to pursue your dreams this spring, as the world comes alive (well, the northern hemisphere anyway. My Aussie friends may have to wait for a tad before this becomes applicable. Enjoy your hibernation!).

Often, when we talk about dreams and goals, we forget to talk about how difficult that path is, how much pain we will experience along the way. For any actual growth to take place, you need to push yourself and to feel some stress. In psychology, we call this the Yerkes-Dodson law (for those of you who forgot that I was actually a psych major). The law states that for performance to increase, there needs to be enough mental stress. We call this good kind of stress arousal. Your performance will level off unless you continue to push yourself.

How do you plan to push yourself this spring?

We have a strategic plan here at Tibetan Lemonade. We will be launching a Podcast in May and will be spending April fine tuning our show before it airs. In June we will launch a youtube channel. I am merging my local writing group with another, and am excited to bring the benefits of that to you, including a writer’s reading group, workshops, and other fun and hopefully useful content for writers and readers alike. Spring term starts for me on Tuesday, and I’m excited to share what I learn with you. Finally, we have some excellent authors joining us this month. Ellen Read and Krysten Lindsay both recently published novels and will be talking about their books and the writing process. Joe Buckley will likely join us twice, once to share some of his writing (he’s amazingly talented) and then again to provide some advice on how to tackle watching Game of Thrones (for those–ahem me– who are coming a bit late to the scene). Finally, I am hoping to get my author website up and running.

Let us know what you are up to! If you have ideas on what you’d like to see from us, let us know that too! Don’t forget to check out a bit of T.S. Eliot below.

You can read the full poem, The Waste Land here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47311, or if you prefer something a little less abstract, listen to my personal favorite, The Hollow Men, below: