Recently, I listened to a conversation with the poet Marie Howe. If you don’t listen already, On Being is a great place to hear poets, physicists, and other big picture thinkers discuss…well, the big picture. And the small picture. Really, it’s just a wellspring of inspiration and mystery. Anyway, Marie Howe mentioned that she has her students do an exercise where they must list 10 observations. Not metaphors – no “The sun shines like a golden earring” or anything. Simple, physical, as-is observations using the senses. Of course I scoffed as if I were above this and could do it no problem. Wrong. It’s hard to do, and so very helpful – whether or not you write. If you practice meditation or mindfulness or any kind of organized religion, this is good to do. I have been starting with 3 – 5 observations. Today, I built it up to 10, and stitched together what follows.
Lent has come and gone, Easter and spring are busy making themselves known. I’ve done so very little writing, instead focusing on the joy of a good bit of travel and spring cleaning now that warm temperatures are here. I’ve been trying to practice more intentional mindfulness, not just mindfulness in the midst of anxiety or worry. This poem was the result of that.