Thursday, July 14, 2011


Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.”--Frank Lloyd Wright

Whether it's each of my footfalls as I jog the path around the creek or the paddle hitting the water as I row a kayak, or the pace at which I set these words down on the page, I'm determined to switch off the frenzy of the last three years and live in the quiet--to rest in the spaces between words, in the sound of my breath when I exercise, or--like today--in the long stretch of a stolen day that I've taken off work after even a few days of exciting but tiring travel.

Over the last three years, I've been working hard, doing tons, trying to make up for lost time after some health battles that preceded this period. Now, it's time to find a balance, to never be in a hurry, to have time to enjoy the things I used to enjoy--simple pleasures, like curling up with a book, cooking a nice meal, taking a nap. I want to live slow as molasses, and just as dense, so that every action counts, every spoonful's filled with flavor, weight, and nutrients.

My friend Erik used to take me to an giant abandoned molasses storage tank, the lid or roof no longer on it, and the church-like cylindrical space seemed to collect sunlight along with small pieces of trash/treasures. As I stood within it, or took steps across it, lines of poetry collected carefully like beautiful, delicate spider webs in my mind, and when I returned home, I'd try to remember them and write them in notebooks, or type them on my old manual typewriter. The tank tended to collect curious objects such as dolls' heads, a white ceramic piece stamped with initials and a year, a crumpled up brown lunch sack, showing off its shadow patterns in the light.

There's so much that goes unnoticed when I'm racing around, trying to do so many things, trying to please so many people--and I miss the way my heart pops when I see a short fat dandelion giving itself to the day or when I find a marble in the gutter to add to my found marble collection.

I think if I can count my breaths and keep trying to remember to go back to that task, that I will never fall in love with my eyes closed again and I'll never end up in the black hole of what-just-happened-heartbreak like I did a few weeks ago. That may be wishful thinking--and, it is, of course, beside the point. The point being that I'm missing everything that really matters. And I've been moving so fast that no one can see me, or really get to know me over a long cup of afternoon tea and molasses cake.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future." ~Thich Nat Hahn

No comments:

Post a Comment