(from Within My Illusions &
Artwise Poetry Roulette Cards)
I don’t remember signing up for this class
or even seeing the syllabus.
If I had looked at the lesson plan,
the list of assignments,
the sequence of tests and quizzes,
I’m sure I would have passed it up
in favor of something more like
Compartmentalization 101 or
Skimming in Oblivion.
I am a master procrastinator,
and as I stare in the face of pop quiz #48
I can find fifteen different ways to avoid,
distract, or otherwise evade this task.
But it keeps circling back in one form or another.
I can wish for blinders, tunnel vision,
or anything else that would limit my perception.
But when I look up and see
that grand old tree blowing in the breeze,
the exquisite movement of its leaves,
the owl gazing down upon me,
I think how glad I am to know it through these eyes.
I was reminded of this poem in a conversation with some friends in which we were talking about how emotionally full life has been lately. "I keep wondering," one woman mused, "how can I allow myself to deeply feel everything I'm experiencing without letting the emotion overtake me?" I said that her question seemed one of the fundamental questions of living. "Kind of like PhD curriculum."
I'm beginning to appreciate these sorts of questions—the kind of questions without a simple or immediate answer, but ones that I can live into through my experiences. I'm finding that there's a relief that comes with not having to figure things out, but instead being open to learning about life through living it. Life is always changing and so am I.
This morning I awoke before I needed to. The sun was still lingering below the horizon. I looked out my bedroom window and the sky had a color and texture to it that was so unusual and unexpected, I wondered if I was still dreaming. I smiled in appreciation of both the chance to glimpse this sky and the opportunity to sleep for a little longer. I closed my eyes, knowing that the next time I opened them the view would be different. And indeed it was.
As I drifted back into sleep, another question came to mind: How can we fully participate in living while also being observers to all of the wonder and gifts living has to offer?
May we find meaning and connection through all of life, the celebrations and the sadness, the ordinary and the extraordinary.
p.s. –I'm happy to share the Within My Illusions album launch performance! You can watch the two-minute teaser here and watch the 90-minute video on YouTube or Vimeo (recommended for distraction-free viewing).
p.p.s. - Artwise Poetry Roulette Cards are now available in 13-card mini-sets and single card options, in addition to the 52-card boxed sets. If you are looking for a unique and meaningful gift, these cards always seem to land just where they need to.