Edward Hirsch wrote a poem, "I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic," which you can find any number of places, but I like the presentation here. In my head, I often confuse the title and the first line, and I often say, "Today I am going to start living like ____________."
I've written a poem with the first line "Today I am going to start living like a hospice chaplain." But this morning, having dropped my sister and nephew off at the airport and completed a morning boot camp workout class on the roof of a parking garage, I have a different spin on the line.
Today I am going to start living like a 6 year old.
What would my life look like?
--I'd write/draw more and worry less about publication.
--I'd see the world in terms of hiding places.
--Five dollars would seem like a fortune.
--I'd do experiments with pop rocks and black cherry soda.
--I'd write up those experiments.
--I'd sing, loudly and often.
--I'd dance without worrying about what anyone thought of me.
--I'd eat at least a half a pound of bacon every morning.
--I'd play games with rules that only I could understand.
--I'd worry less about mess and housekeeping and chores and the to-do list, and I'd simply be with people.
Obviously some of these are more sensible than others. While I love bacon, it would not be wise to eat so much of it. My arteries just hardened a bit even at the thought.
What I really want to get at, with this post and the poem I might write, is the joy and wonder of the world that we often train ourselves not to notice. I've been resisting that tendency to drudgery my whole life, and I hope I continue to do so. But I'd also like to play more. What would it feel like to write a piece that went nowhere? Could I truly not care? What would it feel like to waste a whole day, a whole week-end, to do nothing that had a larger purpose?
Today I'm thinking it would feel very restorative.
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