Lately, I have been intrigued by an idea of living poetically. I want to live in the spaciousness created by poetry. Much like a good soundtrack enhances a film, poetry enhances living. Poetry like music helps me to enter more fully into life and to feel its magic. In this expansion, the senses are heightened and I find freedom to see myself anew without the old labels and stale thinking that could easily propagate in my mind and my words. Poet, David Whyte actually says we reach a point where we grow tired of ourselves, tired of hearing ourselves say what we always say.
Maybe here, we begin to hear ourselves using old words in new ways – we hear sensibility as “sense ability”, responsibility as response ability and freedom as a place like a kingdom. The poetry of David Whyte and Mary Oliver has inspired us in the writing circles. We found freedom again in Mary Oliver’s famous poem, Wild Geese, which begins with the line, “You do not have to be good…” This permission to be and to create without passing judgment on ourselves must be a guiding principle of living poetically thus allowing the freedom to explore and to respond to what life offers to us in nature, family and neighbors. Later in the same poem, she says, “the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting, over and over announcing your place in the family of things”. We each have a place – a place to be and a place to take action.
With poetry, I want to gain a sense of rhythm for when to speak and when to be silent. I want to find that space between the notes, between the words. I want to know I have a place to stand and a place to rest. I want to live in that spacious place called freedom. I want to respond to life with my senses open to the poetry of living in the moment.
Our mini writing retreat later this month is called Poetic Living:Exploring the Beauty, Rhythm, and Spirit of Your Life. Sunday afternoon April 25. Click here to register or go to Events and Calendar for details.
You do not have to be good. You
do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the
desert repenting. You only have to let
the soft animal of your body love what
it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and
I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world
goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear
pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the
clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh
and exciting— over and over announcing
your place in the family of things.
— from Dream Work by Mary Oliver