I feel like I’m becoming alive again.
How can I tell? Because the poetry is alive in my brain again. There’s more color in the sky, in the grass, in the mountains. And not just because of the rain.
After the brain fog and brutal heat of March, April and May and the ridiculous intensity of our work schedule, there was no longer any poetry bubbling in my brain. There was only dragging myself out of bed in the morning, forcing myself to eat something so I would have energy for the day, and then at the end of an exhausting day weighing myself and discovering I had lost yet another 2 pounds. If there had been poetry, it would have gone like this:
It’s so so hot/ I feel like meat/ Left out of the fridge/ In all this heat/ Like boiled cabbage/ And leftover peas/ That’s what I feel like/ (groaaaannn…. more water, please)
And that’s actually not poetry. It rhymes. But its not real poetry.
But now there’s poetry bubbling again and not just my own. One of these days I would love to sit down and trace back through all the poems that have shaped my life. Poetry that opened doors and windows to a new way of seeing the world through the beauty of words that capture life in crystal clear images. Poetry that thrilled me and inspired me. Poetry that made me laugh. Poetry that captured that feeling inside of you that you yourself didn’t even know existed until that aha moment when it was put into words. And then you think to yourself, “That’s exactly how I feel about it, but I never knew I felt that way.”
Late last night as I defrosted our poor neglected fridge, threw away rotten fried rice and tomatoes and eggs, and debated whether to keep last year’s chocolate or throw it away, I thought poetry and listened to it. And tried to ignore the smell that reeked from the fridge. I listened to Robert Frost and dreamed of someday stopping by woods again on a snowy evening. Oh the pure delight of doing that again! I listened about his road diverging into a wood and said, “I know exactly how you felt.” I listened to Rudyard Kipling’s “East is East and West is West and Never the Twain Shall Meet.” I was curious and felt a little disturbed. Then I listened to Carl Sandburg’s “Fog” and remembered a dear little first grader with honey -blonde hair in front of an audience reciting “Fog” on the last day of school. And I felt pangs of homesickness and pastsickness.( pastsickness: a longing for the past, to relive memories that are sweet after time has washed away all the pain.)
But the poem I like the most of all the evening was this one. After washing out of the fridge thoroughly of all its putrid odors and feeling like it was on its way back to recovery like I was, it was raining once again and I listened to Longfellow’s “The Day is Done.” However much poetry might be bubbling in my brain, my soul is still tinged with tiredness, and this poem echoed the thoughts of my spirit. Sometimes we long for the simple words of some normal human being to soothe our restless spirits, instead of weighty words of theology and religion.
And now, because it is almost midnight, I must fold up my tent and steal away on the road less traveled that leads to bed since I have gone many miles since I have slept and my bed is oh so lovely and dark, yet, I fear not very deep, because East has not yet met West in the making of mattresses. And we will pray that the neighbor’s cats do not come on their little cat feet and fight on my roof.