Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I often find myself at the end of a weekend wondering where the time went, why I didn't do more cleaning or eliminating clutter or catching up on projects and writing. Balancing checkbooks, planning futures. That sort of thing.

One recent such weekend, I wrote a poem.

That's not the only thing I did, but I gave in to meditation using words and ideas. This poem became an example of what could happen when I just paused, momentarily, in life, and really allowed the spirit to move me. I often do that now in playtime with my toddler, or even in deep research about some literary work for class, but have found I don't often enough just use the space of time to dream, ruminate, and let thoughts sift through me.

Turned out this poem was such an on-target take on my deep fears about having another child, about miscarriage and letting it go, about the way in which death in nature hearkens life, that seasons must and will overtake us and that we should immerse ourselves in their beauty, in the goodbye of it, the goodbye we relish if we seek a new beginning, a fresh take. There's so much to come, more than the mundane of life which needs be done, but needn't be the endgame of everyday. To be a soul seeking everyday faith is to get away from the mundane if it keeps us from the sublime.

So in the meantime I don't do laundry or course calculations in favor of coloring with crayons or picking out pebbles in our front yard with my two year old daughter. I do get frustrated that I can't work faster, that my bones hurt now and again and I feel old, that I can't keep up with all there is to do on any given weekend.

In the end, there are many things we did do, and that's what counts. No--scratch that--what counts is how we do them.

Here's the poem. It needs editing, but I am so pleased with the raw result of my exercise in lines and words (versus my usual prose--and thanks to someone at the department offering Jim Simmerman's exercise from his book Practice of Poetry). Writing it broke open my head and heart at once.

Begin like a symphony,

Cacophany of a hundred falling, shattering leaves

Tinkling, clashing, humming,

Feathering and splintering, puzzling

Crunching munching granola

Cinnamon and cedar, sugar and splinters

Velvet taste of dying chlorophyll

In a Hammock's Athenian dream

Clear and whole.

Neat in a little womb

Wound in papoose silk pouch

Unmoving because nothing was there

To begin with

But will be beginning

Will start as soon as yesterday ends.

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