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.


kelli said...

I love Erdrich's writings. She's from Minnesota ya know? :) I want to get to her bookstore some time.

love ya~

Ren said...

I was wondering if you'd been there! I was planning to email you the bookstore's main page. If you go, I'll have to send her poetry book with you to have it signed.:)

Schuyler said...

Ooh, the Harry Potter party looks good! I like a pinata!

Your link to the intact poem takes me to Geri's Good News Network and not the poem. I found it on someone else's blog--clearly they were less concerned with copyright infringement ::grin::.

Thank you for the poem. I read it to Linnaea as she cuddled up to me with her sorely aching head.

Ren said...

I just fixed it Schuyler, thanks for letting me know!:)
It's the second poem down on the page and you can listen to it or read it.

Miranda said...

Thanks, Ren! That was music to my ears right now. Something about that full moon for sure...

Susan said...

WOW Ren! So great to see yo at the gallery today...and what you saw great, too! An actual New Leaf from Newsome's project (still going strong), outsider artist Ruby c. Williams, cool stuff from Smart Women Company...all because of Women On Air! See how intention manifests in so many beautiful ways. Speaking of beautiful: your children! We are on for CHOCOLATE and POETRY night Monday June 18 @ 7 pm. Please bring more Eldrich; I'll bring Marge Piercy.
Big thanks to you!
PS Creating obos all week long!!

granola*girl* said...

that's lovely... i'm always needing reminders to live authentically, especially in my surroundings.

what exactly did you mean about the "selling out"?

Amy said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing it! Just what I need to hear today. Great poem!

Laura said...

I check this link on occasion but see you haven't been writing on it for quite a while. I have a second blog that lies dormant as well. Same template, too. Maybe it's something with the pink? :)

Ren said...

What I mean by "selling out"...
its in quotes so I obviously don't really believe I'm selling out.

BUT, I buy thing at Wal Mart sometimes. I don't like supporting them, but I believe in supporting US even more.:) If saving some money doing that, allows me to buy a grain grinder or bee hives, then it's simply another conscious choice.

I realize there are other ways to save money and NOT shop there, but at this moment it is a choice I'm willing to make.

I work 30 hours per week. It started as a way to keep our home and EAT...but now it's about getting out of debt forever. It's a choice. I don't want to be gone from my children that much. That part is lame.
But it's helping us get closer to some things that are really important to us.

Baby steps.
It may seem like "selling out" to some folks, because it goes against so much of what I believe in. But in the end, it's a conscious choice for something that helps us get closer to sustainability and making some different choices.

It's all choice. That's the bottom line.

B&B said...

I like it!
It also fits really well for October at our house! Lol, but that's a story unto itself.