poetry wednesday : pencil in “sunlight”

The Word Down near the bottomof the crossed-out listof things you have to do today, between "green thread"and "broccoli," you findthat you have penciled "sunlight." Resting on the page, the wordis beautiful. It touches youas if you had a friend and sunlight were a presenthe had sent from someplace distantas this morning—to cheer you up, and to remind you that,among your duties, pleasureis a thing that also needs accomplishing.Do you remember?that time and light are kinds of love, and loveis no less practicalthan a coffee grinder or a safe spare tire?Tomorrow you may be utterlywithout a clue, but today you get a telegramfrom the heart in exile,proclaiming that the kingdom still exists,the king and queen alive, still speaking to their children, —to any one among themwho can find the timeto sit out in the sun and listen. -Tony Hoagland With thanks to Lisa Smith for pointing me to this...

mindful monday : elvis, my muse.

I've been resting. And reading. And enjoying my new orange desk. I may have mentioned that once or eleven times. I walked around Beaver Lake this morning with my friend, Andrea. It was, as she said, like walking in a postcard. I ate fruit for breakfast. I am clearing my head, and my body. More love. Here is one tool I'm using to clear out, clarify, make simple: iDoneThis is a simple "here's what I did today" program that I've been using for a month. I love it to pieces. So simple. Respond to an email every day with what you did that day, and it puts that info on a calendar for you. Sometime later, you'll be reminded what you did on October 4 or September 27 and it will ask how you felt that day. There is something so comforting and additive and memory-making about this program. A reminder, a beautiful accumulation of actions and thoughts, a recognition that it is usually the tiny moments that make up a life, not the big events, a way to capture things that might later serve as writing prompts. I hope you might like it too. I find myself noting the simple: Tue Sep 27 2011 Flew to Chicago. Got a hair cut. Had a delicious raw vegan lunch at Karyn's with JD and Lynne. Worked in O'Hare airport for hours. Skyped with John and Tess from Gate F12 in O'Hare. Let people use plugs on my power strip in O'Hare. Used my iPod to drown out the constantly talking Mr Loud in the plane to Lincoln. Drove to Hastings,...

fear.less

I loved talking with Ishita Gupta. She called on a Saturday. We talked and laughed for a long time. I felt like I had known her before, but we had just met. I’m exhausted by all the striving I see online. I don’t know where the line is drawn between striving to passionately say what you need to tell the world and striving to be cool or trend on Twitter. What I take from death, along with how much I miss having the people in my life, is a sense of urgency. What do I do if this is the last year of my life? So my grief gives me a gift, it gives urgency to being really alive in the time that I have. Her interview with me appears in fear.less today. I hope you'll enjoy reading...

poetry wednesday : call today

Sunflowers in a Field Sunflowers in a field. Goldfinches everywhere. They gorge on seed. They rise To rest along the power line, then fall Like drizzled lemon drops, like lozenges Of candied yellow light. Two weeks a year, goldfinches Gather on sunflowers here. These evenings after supper, You see them in the honey-soft glow As if they'd trapped and somehow stored The rapture of September's sun. You see goldfinches flicker Among sunflower lanes, Through mortal tides of light, Through streams of apricot and chardonnay, And you resolve to live Your life with greater sympathy. Sunflowers bowing their char black dials, Their petals twist and writhe Like fires, like silk coronas blazing west. How inconceivable, then, The pewter cold-front clouds, The shabby settlement of crow and wren. Though no one hears the oath, You shall, you tell yourself, Forgo deceit, increase the tithe. Atone. Forgive. Embrace. You watch Goldfinches and sunflowers both Begin to fade. By subtle green degrees They shed that bullion luster of the sun Until the finches ricochet Like flints among the drowsing flower heads. Perhaps, as I have done, You'll pace the darkling half mile home, Intent on picking up the telephone To reconcile with long-lost friends. You will apologize, concede. You'll vow to never, ever, ever let Such distance grow again. But then you reach your door and find The day diminished to a thin blue rind Of light above the township silhouette. How nice a hot bath sounds. Dessert. An herbal tea. Perhaps you'll read the Arts And Leisure pages of The Daily News. With every stair you climb Sleep settles just a little...

mindful monday : stillness

Sometimes you just need to stop. Halt. Breathe. That's where I am now. Breathing. Halting. Hibernating. I'm on sabbatical for a little while from Facebook and social media. I'm contemplating my new orange desk, the one I wanted, the one I ordered, and the one I got delivered to my front porch yesterday. It is the color of clementines. I love it. My orange desk. And I found the right color to paint the walls in my attic office as-yet-created: It is by Valspar, and it is not white as I imagined those walls might be, but "Stillness." Yes. Stillness. That's where I am now. Not in the attic, but resting. In stillness. My 3x3x365 duties this week are kindly being handled by friends in New Jersey and Illinois and Nebraska and beyond. My Facebook profile is standing still except for automatic posts from my blogs. My Google+ and Twitter have ground to a halt. And I'm okay with that. My phone is unanswered. I need rest. And rest I am getting. So, today, just a wee link to a radio interview with me that was recorded recently and that will play tonight (Oct 10th) at 7pm. I hope you'll listen in. I loved LOVED talking with Lesley Riley, the host of the show. She and I might do it again, and again. I am heading back to bed. To read, perhaps. I have a large stack of books on my bedside table to read or re-read. You? What are you reading? Reading is an amazing gift. Sleep is also good. It is not overrated, as it turns out....