Saturday, April 21, 2007

minds that worry

I am proud to tell you that two more of my poems were recently published in Word Riot. You can see them here. Here is one of the poems:


All my life
I've never known
The burden
Stiff and worn
That sits
In minds
That worry

In rereading the poem, I wonder what I was thinking when I wrote it. Why would I write that I've never known the burden of a mind that worries? I worry all the time! When I was little, my parents used to call me the "Worried Walrus," a nickname taken from a Sweet Pickles book (a children's book series, now out of print). In the book, Worried Walrus is so concerned about the future and what might happen, that he misses out on the gift of the present.

Our minds naturally drift towards the future and the possibilities, both good and bad that might happen. There is definitely purpose in this, and still it is essential to bring our minds back and be mindful of the present. When we can completely participate in the present, we can fully enjoy what life has to offer. It seems simple enough, right? Not quite. It is a lot to ask of ourselves- to go from being in our heads to completely participating in the moment. Right now, I am working on just noticing when I am worrying or spending time in my thoughts and not in the situation. Eventually, the noticing will naturally evolve into participation in the now.

I invite you to think about the burden of worry in your mind and if you would like to change it. What steps can you take? And most of all... what is waiting for you in the present?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

crazy wild words

In my poetry class this week, we had two poets talk with us about their processes. One poet spoke about how she is a perfectionist and has to feel completely satisfied with a line before she can move on to the next. The other poet shared about how he just keeps writing and revises later.

Lately, I have been feeling stuck. My words aren't flowing like they have in the past. It is not for lack of inspiration or creativity. In the moment of interaction between the pen and paper, my self-judgment and self-criticism swoop in with a vengeance and paralyze me.

One method I have been using to deal with this problem is to start writing and let the words take control. So, here is me, letting go, spilling words and not being afraid to fail on the page:

Crazy wild words riding bareback on brown horses through meadows soft with pansies fit to do nothing but look flimsy and act flimsier in no contention and fight against the raging wind in a gust of gusto and anger against the night sky. Oh, the fights they have. The dreams they devour. They eat each other's guts with the pleasure of fine guests at the most desirous of restaurants, sitting politely at tables set for twenty using freshly pressed napkins to wipe slobbery spit from their drooling mouths.

Friday, April 06, 2007

yours to hold

Sometimes it's hard to admit or to say out loud that we are special or have wonderful qualities. Maybe it is just that we are humble or that in our society we are taught not to shout our amazing attributes from the rooftops. For some reason, it seems much more common to hear people putting themselves down than singing their own praises.

In a way, just knowing our special qualities is enough. It is almost like having magical superpowers. We have secrets that no one else knows, until we choose to share them. In that way, we are in control of whom we share with and how much we choose to reveal. These beautiful aspects are yours to cherish and hold close.

What are your amazing qualities? Do you acknowledge your spectacular characteristics? Do you reveal them often? Of course, it is up to you, who you choose to share with, but remember, it would be our privilege to be present when you do.