(to remind myself)
Inspired by Wendell Berry’s “How to Be a Poet (to remind myself). Poem below.
Honor your morning. Have a routine. Make it meditative. Grind the coffee beans. Steep the tea. Sit in silence. Forgo screens, if possible. Do not grab phone the minute you get out of bed. Jot down random thoughts in journal. Bask in the early morning sounds: cat’s sleepy moans, children’s chatter on their walk to the bus stop, geese honking, construction trucks rattling down the road. Read Mary Oliver poems and breathe her words. Greet the day.
Know gratitude. Do not obsess over what you do not have. It takes up too much space. Instead fill your head and heart with what is here now. Be thankful for coffee and husband and friends and a good meal and fine wine. Oh, and desserts…a slice of apple pie, Bella Vino’s ooey gooey butter cake with cinnamon ice cream, warm chocolate chip cookies, brownies. Always brownies.
Exercise. Walk mindfully. Turn off the music and podcasts and walk in quiet. Hear what is presented. See the trees, especially now as leaves are turning red and orange. Practice yoga with mind and body. Feel each pose. Quiet the ceaseless chatter in your head.
Make meal preparation moving meditation. Chop with purpose. Stir and taste deliberately. See it all come together. Set the table. Light a candle. Put on music. Enjoy.
Pick one small, daily goal. No phone. Write. Exercise. No meat. Eight glass of water. No news. Read at night instead of television. Read a classic. Read for fun. No alcohol. Text or call a friend or family member. Don’t kick yourself over failures of long term goals. Glory in the accomplishment of what you did today.
Let go of things you have no control over. Worry eats you alive. Allow mistakes to be made. Let go and see what happens.
Listen to old and new music. Really listen. Hear the instruments, the vocals, the lyrics. Know that music is medicine.
Honor your sacred space. Be a fierce gatekeeper. Do not allow anyone in who violates this space with untruths, negative energy, or constant complaining or blaming others for mistakes they created. Protect this sacred space with your life.
Own your mistakes. Ask forgiveness, and then offer to make things better. Move on. Accept you are human. Messy. Damaged. Broken. Stitched back up. Beautiful. Luminous. Transcendent. Decent and good.
How to Be a Poet (to remind myself) by Wendell Berry
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill – more of each
than you have – inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsecured places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.