Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Universe Provides Perspective

Yesterday's post may have moped too long in the land of "What if it's too late?"  Throughout the time since I wrote it, I've come across items that give me hope.  It's almost as if the universe is trying to tell me something!

Last night, I flipped through a book to find this quote from Thomas Merton:  "There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else.  People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular--and too lazy to think of anything better.  Hurry ruins saints as well as artists.  They want quick success and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves.  And when the madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity."  (from New Seeds of Contemplation

I find it somewhat ironic that I found this quote in Todd Henry's The Accidental Creative:  How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice.  It's the kind of book  that gives us tips and techniques for organizing our time and ideas, the kind of book where I find I'm already doing a lot of these techniques--and I do have the idea that Merton might say we're not really listening to his quote.

There's a fascinating post at the Monkey See blog that reflects on book writing, book promoting, and the role of social media.  Martha Woodruff has posted a whole series, in fact.  I love all of her posts on the process of writing the first book.  And what I love more is what I learned from listening to this story:  Martha Woodruff is 64!  Maybe it's not too late for me.

And if you find this kind of writing about writing inspiring, don't miss this site:  Every Monday there's a new post, and they're fairly short, but full of wisdom.

And then, yesterday, there was this piece on NPR about a fascinating art project that plants a ceramic poppy for every British and colonial life lost during World War I: 888,246 ceramic poppies.

Let me pause a minute for that # to sink in--and that's only British and colonial lives--not French, not German, not U.S.  And it doesn't count the injured.

So, let me take a minute of gratitude here:  even if my poems are never collected in a book, I still have the freedom to write, the time, the support of those who love me.  Those blessings are not small.  I am not in a war zone.  I have fresh water just by turning the tap.  I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge.

Publication that comes later or not at all suddenly seems like an insignificant thing to fret about.

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