Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life lesson in a poem

Listening to NPR on my way to work yesterday, they recited a poem that brought tears to my eyes. I wrote about the idea of a "beautiful mess" before. This poem really hit home for me yesterday.

I go through something I call "grieving cycles" where I feel sad and mourn for the things I've lost in this life. It seems to come and go, as natural as any other cycle. I'm beginning to wonder if it's always near the full moon.

Not sure if it's all the strawberries that remind me of my Mum, or the full moon, but I've been missing her lately. I was thinking about her, and about Hannah and my friend Ricky and some other people I carry with me always.....when this poem came over the air. There has also been a push lately, in my heart, to get closer to the earth, get closer to a truly sustainable way of life.....which feels so far away at times but I keep on taking baby steps. For me, it's taking steps toward authenticity. So perhaps you'll understand why this poem tugged at my heartstrings so.

It's titled "Advice to Myself" by Louise Erdrich. I won't re-post the entire poem, as that may be problematic due to copyright laws. This segment represents the poem well:

" Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart."

Read it. Really. I believe I shall frame it and read it every remind me of what is really important in life. Because we all need reminders. And life is too short to not pursue the authentic, even if it takes a bit of "selling out" to get there.