Friday, January 05, 2007

morning thoughts.

Once again, it's been several days since I've last posted. Geez...that sounds like going to confession: "Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been ___ days since my last confession." Gah. But, to be honest, I don't feel as guilty as I sound. Although I am definitely on the mend, my back has been out for the past 3 days. Tuesdays and Wednesday I could barely move, let alone breath. Today, despite lingering pain, I feel like something of a new person. Last night I even went so far as to give the house a nice deep cleaning. I was up until almost 2 am in my pursuit for a fresh start this morning. It worked.

I got up and came downstairs to a clean kitchen, made coffee, and then took Anu for a longer walk than she has had in the past several days. She was happy to burn off some of her excess energy as well. At the moment, I'm writing here instead of in my morning pages because I was starting to miss my blog. Funny how that happens. Blogging, like journaling, like walking, like brushing my teeth every morning has become such a deeply rooted habit that it becomes uncomfortable to function without these actions in my life on a daily basis.

And I must say that it feels good to return to my morning pages. I've only been doing them for a week or two and, already, I am amazed by how much more freely my words come. I thought that I would end up filling my big fat journal with a whole lot of garbage...but I've been surprising myself. What is it about morning pages that cause life to break open? I don't know...but I love the feeling and so I will continue with it.

Ever since moving to Minneapolis I've been collecting fortunes from fortune cookies. And I've been taking them seriously. Last night in my cleaning frenzy I went so far as to not only clean floors, toilets, dishes counters, and junk piles... but my closet, purses, bags, and jacket pockets, too. Now I have a small heap of fortunes that read:
  • You will have wealth.
  • You will be successful in whatever you do.
  • You will be doing something new at work.
  • Keep an eye out for an opportunity.
  • You are your wisest counselor.
  • Accept the next proposition you hear.
Lately, I find myself focusing on the 2nd and last one. They're in a pile next to the colorful prayer beads that Kristine made to remind me that all I need to do is tell it one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one story at a time. I have them sitting on the silk orange and gold brocade from India that my computer monitor sits on. All around me I have these sacred little objects--little pieces of artwork, a tiny glass box, a postcard from far away, rocks, trinkets from India, photos of my husband--these things surround me. Splashes of color in an otherwise white-washed grey day.

While walking in the woods New Year's Eve, I thought about magic. But I also decided that something I want to do this year is to read one poem every day. I love poetry...but, for some reason, it seems to have fallen out of my life. Completely. How did that happen? It has been a long time since I've written any poetry of my own and almost as long since I've really read much of it by anyone else. While in Bemidji over Christmas I had a short, but wonderful conversation about poetry with my former professor, Mark. I complained about my lack of narrative talent and he said something simple like: "You should be writing poetry." So I started thinking about that. And it's an idea that's been growing inside of me.

Reading a poem every day is my invitation for poetry to enter back into my life.

This morning I read "Different Ways to Pray" from 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye (one of my very favorite poets). It's a long poem, but I want to share with you just the first stanza:

There was the method of kneeling,
a fine method,
if you lived in a country

where stones are smooth.

Women dreamed wistfully of
hidden corners where knee fit rock.

Their prayers, weathered rib bones,

small calcium words uttered in sequence,
as if this shedding of syllables could

fuse them to the sky.

...oh, but it's hard to stop there. Go out and find this poem. Really. I promise that you will smile when you get to the end of it.


Anonymous said...

I am off to find it!!!

have a beautiful day:)

Kristine said...

In the nook of the corner of my top desk drawer is a bunch of fortunes paperclipped together... I keep all the ones that make me feel good.

Loralee Choate said...

Oh, the SUCK of back pain. I can relate to it, but I am so glad you are feeling better. It is funny how you take things like breathing without pain for granted.

I'm glad you got to go back to that magical and freaking huge forest you live by!

bee said...

gah. we have to have a talk about poetry!!!

and other things!!!

i need to read nye, (never have...)

Dana said...

Great poetry excerpt. And I am sorry to hear about your back. I'm glad it's getting better.

Anonymous said...

i think if you keep writing poetry, it will help your back feel better...if you want to, please check out some of my poetry/songs.

melba said...

Reading poetry is magic!

I have seen this theme coming up for me everywhere; magic. I feel like I need to explore magic more. something new is calling to me.

Wishing you health and happiness.
As always!

bella said...

I love doing a deep clean and waking up with nothing to do. I feel so good when I look around and everything is in its own place.
Today, you give me the enthusiasm to open my book of poetry by Poe. I love poetry, but not all poetry. Poe does it for me somehow. Neruda too.
Have a great day!! Send some snow my way.

Amber said...

I have also been little by little, doing the deep clean and organize. I always want to do it at the start of the year, and it feel so good. Nothing is better than coming home to, or waking up to a clean house!(It hardly EVER happens around here).

As for the back pain, oy! I feel you, sister. I hope all is better for you.

*I would like to add you to my blogroll...Is that okay?


Jessie said...

amber,of course it is ok if you add me to your blogroll. it would be an honor! :)

Anonymous said...

Jessie, so sorry you've been suffering back pain! I hope you do start writing poetry. Your post is already rather poetic and surely with your beautiful words and images you can create poems.