Saturday, November 19, 2022

Prose and Poetry

I often wake up with something on my mind, often some reminder to myself and world as to what might make for a more kind, more just, more joyful world. Or some insight into how I’m put together or how we’re all put together that might need to be remembered. Sometimes the ideas are expressed through little stories of my day— the things that happen in the music class, the visit with the grandkids, the small pleasures of traveling and teaching. Sometimes they’re gathered together into agendas, suggestions as to how to create better systems for gathering together with others, considering how to make community a more welcoming, inclusive and happy experience. In short, the themes of so many of these blogposts, this long litany of little essays framing the world through prose.


But sometimes I wake up empty with a poet’s mind. Instead of muscularly imposing myself on the world and how I want it to be, I have the good sense to just take a step back and observe and attend and then, if so moved, to praise and try to capture a little of the day’s flavor through some kind of poetic imagery. At the moment, my e-mails are down to zero, my projects on my list for months as I resisted their difficulty finally done (for the moment), my calendar without a single thing on it until Thanksgiving Day— this is a good time for poet’s mind. Get off the spinning wheel of the to-do list and just observe, enjoy, savor. To welcome the early morning cold air instead of tighten up against it, to descend into the darkening days happily without dreaming of summer, to pause and see what arises of its own volition. The November sun invites me to leave the house and feel its welcome warmth, my still-functioning legs suggest that walking is an excellent idea and the various distinct San Francisco neighborhoods are all poised to receive me should I choose their direction.


Happy Saturday to all.

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