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joyful labors

January 18, 2015

I went to bed at 7:30 PM last night. Slept deeply until 12:30 AM, when Spouse came to bed, when I woke up enough to realize things were on the top of my mind that wanted to be thought about. I stayed in bed, in the dark, thinking and processing, until 3:30 AM, when I got up and went into another room, also in the dark. I thought and processed and thought some more, eating snacks along the way. I went back to bed at 5:30 AM.

I believe I fell asleep around 6. I expected I would wake up around 10 AM — that would’ve been ~ 9 hours sleep total — but I didn’t actually wake up until around noon. And I didn’t bound out of bed, wide awake, either. Which is good, because I had dreams I remember!

I’ll write about them later.


{Maybe trying to work my way around to the topic I’m trying to write about is getting in my own way right now.}

I’ve been to defaulting to assuming that my Work is my writing, or my art — I’m a writer, I’m an artist, those are the things I spend my time doing. On another hand, I’ve also had the insight that my poetry in particular is like pawprints in snow, but I, or maybe my Work, are the animal itself. On a third hand, there’s the whole pernicious idea of a “legacy” to be remembered by.

What if what really matters, as far as the universe is concerned, is how we treat other people? Not in the sense of, “I’m going to try to consciously behave correctly according to my Religious Scriptures” kind of behavior, but just what you do, who you are.

This doesn’t sound like the epiphany I had yesterday. There’s a whole bunch of stuff I can’t figure out how to describe in words.

But the upshot was: the Work I’m doing “in the World” is truly being myself. With all those things that only I do, which are, in many cases, social things. How do I treat trees? Earthworms? Rocks? Rivers? Spiders, inside? Spiders, outside? Human beings? How do I behave as a denizen of my watershed, in everyday things? If you met me . . . and maybe you’re a human being poet, or maybe you’re a slug on the sidewalk, or maybe you’re a cloud in the sky . . . how would I treat you?

With respect. With curiosity, with interest, with enthusiasm. Sometimes with joy. With playfulness, with zest.

That’s what I do that isn’t like everyone else.

Eh, maybe someday my poems will move someone to tears or help them feel joy or bubbles of delight — that would be awesome! I do hope that happens. But that’s not my Work.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2015 05:04

    That’s one amazing piece, you have there!

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