Following some good advice
and living in a poem
Friday, December 23, 2022—Winter Poems Series—#5
I was doing my ten-minute morning free write (a new practice that I'm really enjoying!) and thinking about all the end-of-year practices/rituals/prompts I've used over the years—thinking that none really apply this year.
No. The coming year seems to be urging me to be more creative, to notice more, to appreciate more, and to respond first as a poet—to filter everything through my artistic curiosity, not just certain moments. It may have taken sixty-one years, but these days it feels like, as Naomi Shihab Nye says, I am "...living in a poem."
So, as you wind your way through end-of-year events and expectations, I hope you find a perspective that brings you ease, or inspiration, or relief, or whatever you most need. Kind-of like Strider, our cat family member, finds nearly every day. (I'm convinced cats are living poems.)
Maybe you, like me, find an intriguing sense of belonging in the thought that you are living in a poem? Yes? No? I'm curious. Write/respond and tell me, if you'd like. I'd love to hear from you.
And, finally, here's a poem I love (and that I associate with winter) called "Holly" from her luscious book Familiars by Holly Wren Spaulding.
On this day the air smelled of cut pine. Every ilex blazed. The forest spoke me to me. I survived their unbelief. The longest winter.
With lots gratitude and appreciation,
P.S. Anyone want to write together on Wednesday, December 28th?
P.P.S. I love that Nye goes on to define poetry this way in her July 2016 On Being interview:
“What do you mean, we’re living in a poem?” Or, “When? All the time, or just when someone talks about poetry?” And I’d say, “No; when you think, when you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savoring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another — that’s a poem. That’s what a poem does.”
Tracie Nichols is a Transformative Language Artist helping women write themselves home. A poet, facilitator and copyeditor, she is the founder of the Saturday Writing Circle and the co-founder of the Embodied Writers group. She writes and facilitates from under the wide reach of two old Sycamore trees in southeastern Pennsylvania.