Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lenten Diary: Week Five

[If you haven't been following my observance, you might want to read this for background. Or not.]

Day 33: While a storm howls outside, beating rain against my balcony doors and sending flashes of light through the blinds, I’ve curled up on my loveseat to do a little reading. In chapter 3 of TROG, Buchanan talks about how busyness kills our hearts, and how we can invite life back into our lives by slowing down and taking notice. I know this from experience (both the death that comes from busyness and the benefits of slowing down) but it is good to be reminded. He quotes a scholar and poet who said something like, “We are all born poets. The question is when we stop being one.” (The actual quote is more eloquent, but I am parted from the book at present and forced to paraphrase.) The Sabbath liturgy at the end of the chapter then challenges the reader (i.e. me) to make every effort to take notice, and then to translate those observations to poetry.

I can count on one hand the times in my life I’ve actually sat down determined to write a poem—once during a poetry unit in 5th grade, once when I fancied myself in love, and a few other occasions in between. I’m more of a prose girl myself, and I think it’s because paragraphs are more easily qualified. I can read or write a paragraph and know whether it’s decent, superb, or needs serious revision. I have no such intrinsic or acquired gauge when it comes to poetry, so whether reading or writing a poem, I am unable to assign value, which leaves me feeling uncertain and unknowledgeable, feelings to which I admittedly hostile.

So maybe dabbling in poetry is a good and not-too-threatening way to venture outside my comfort zone this week, to exercise a Sabbath heart. And maybe I’ll discover that I was born a poet and didn’t know it. J

Day 34: With Chapter 3’s liturgy in mind, I spent this morning’s return trip from the airport intentionally engaging my senses and composing a poem based on my observations. Here’s what I scribbled onto Caribou napkins at trip’s end:

Heralds spring but
dampens earth and spirits
Sometimes plopping
now assaulting
With narrowed eyes
I grip the wheel
Squeaking wipers demand
more water, less frequency
never satisfied
Heavy lids, dull brain
cry for coffee, moose it, please
compensate for daylight saved
and waking amid shadows
Passenger fills silence
recounting others’ lives
Trucks rumble by, my stomach within
Stifle another yawn and
Notice the day.

Day 35: Thanks to a TV commercial viewed this morning, I had that darn Olson Rug jingle stuck in my head for the entire morning commute. Grrr.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

I like the poem!! Very eloquent. And getting things for free is another thing we have in common - I'm addicted to coupons and free stuff (even if I don't need it...) I just won a free Caribou Coffee on their website yesterday!