Today looks to be a good one, lots to do, see, read, consider. I have recently joined online writer’s forums and have resurrected many of my poems, with minor modifications, from decades past. I must admit to a feeling of surprise at the prospect of them still being relevant. Poetry, as with most writing, has a way of cutting through what separates us, and joining us in a (these diversions are killing me) Kumbaya moment, or universal moment, or moment of strong emotion and reflection. I see writing, at its best, as a unifier, an educator, a shot of serotonin. The more I read and write, the more engaged in life I become, and, alongside periods of frustration or angst, I feel a part of something larger than myself, and of import.
I read a post earlier in which the blogger tells a story about a man who frequented a diner. He describes this man’s intelligence as a left brain smart, “encyclopedic intelligence, the kind that focuses on names, dates, and details.” He himself, feeling at first a bit inferior to this Jeopardy-type intelligence, realizes that his intelligence is more right brain, a “creative intelligence, the kind that can deal with ambiguities, flow, and chaos, the kind that can grasp two seemingly contradictory thoughts at the same time and not have to reconcile them…” Personally I am a proponent of utilizing our brainpower to the greatest extent possible, although it does appear we have proclivities toward a particular side.
At the possible cost of my asides, diversions, departures defining me, I have stumbled upon yet another. I’ve written about training myself to stay in the present (and of my many successes and failures in this regard) and what fertile ground my parents’ last months were in scooping me into the flowing river of life. Yesterday, I realized many life experiences pulled me in that direction, the difference being some caught my attention enough to make me listen. One such category was, and remains, my children. They were my students and my teachers. And on nebulous levels their demands to be heard, their MANY middle of the night feedings, nightmares, colds and coughs taught me to hear and listen and be present no matter my exhaustion, feelings and thoughts about what was occurring. My love (devotion, commitment, call it what you will) so powerful, it transcended what they did or how I felt. And it did something else, something I had not even considered. It gave me practice in being there, no matter my feelings, thoughts or exhaustion for my parents.
Life can be the fertile training ground for what we need to learn, what we choose to put our attention on, the relationships that last, and those that don’t, and a myriad of stuff we neither considered nor anticipated. It’s part of what keeps life, and us, going.