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.
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.