Poetry and Loafers


As I pulled my knapsack out of my car and headed through a bleak parking lot into the cafe this morning I thought “I haven’t been daydreaming enough”. And laughed at my own style of admonishment.

Others with a peephole into my life right now might comment on something else, perhaps a housekeeping deficit.

I must clarify--defensively--that I’ve spent years fighting my own nature....being an artist certainly didn’t seem reasonable, and when I gave in to that, well, I was going to be a hardworking artist, not one of those loafers who sits around writing poetry.

And funnily, I feel the absence of poetry keenly. A friend of mine has recently been bringing poetry back into her life, and will spontaneously but mindfully speak a poem out loud. She distinguishes between memorizing a poem and taking a poem to heart, living it fully.

This memory serves as a nice contrast to the past week I’ve spent tracing down receipts and looking at bank statements for Tax Time. And I’m aware that it is possible to enjoy such tasks. Indeed my bookkeeper appears to enjoy life and be a good deal more cheerful than I can be--and genuinely!

I’d be interested to see some brain imaging--organizing tax documents surely is a different piece of real estate than painting and feeling as if I have all the time in the world. And I laugh at myself needing to “recover” from tax time. Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way, speaks a great deal about the profound value of doing nothing, and our obsession about being ‘productive’. And how sometimes the constant drive to be productive can lead to life feeling thin, bereft of energy. And sometimes contrast, like taxes, followed by a spontaneous poem, or a few hours doing nothing, can be restorative. Despite the laundry, which has it’s own elegance.

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