Thursday, March 5, 2015

Poem Inspirations: The Possessions in Our Pockets

I have family members across a wide range of southern states who are experiencing winter weather today:   Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, and let's include the southern part of Kentucky too.  Here it is March 5, and my relatives are dealing with snow and sleet. 

I can hear the winter weariness in their Facebook posts.

I thought of my recent time at Mepkin Abbey.  When I arrived on Friday, the temperature had been below freezing for a few days.  By Sunday, we had a mild afternoon, with highs in the 60's and sun.  It was the seasonal shift in fast forward.

I created a photoessay on my theology blog; if you need to be reminded that spring will come again, see this post.

We have had summery weather down here in South Florida.  Actually, that's not quite right.  Our highs have been in the 80's, not the 90's.  Still, it was good weather for my sister's visit and my spouse's motorcycle adventure.

I thought I would write a poem this morning, and I still might.  I have a series of images in my head.  I've been thinking of a church member from a different church, from over a decade ago.  When she went for communion, instead of eating the wafer, she'd stick it in her pocket.  She had some form of dementia, so that's probably the explanation.  But in my poem, I can play with other possibilities.

I'm thinking of my friend who has started looking at one bedroom apartments in her free time.  Does she want to leave her special-needs family?  Or is she just looking for a sanctuary?  She's been looking so often that the apartment complexes send her special offers.  I have a vision of an older means of communication, the real estate section of the newspaper.

I'm also thinking of my nephew, who put as many Airsoft pellets into his pockets as his pockets could hold.  I'm thinking of the things we put in our pockets:  protection?  talisman? 

I have a vision of three generations, each with something important in a pocket--but not something we'd all agree is important, like a passport.

What did I do instead of writing that poem?  I updated my CV where I keep a list of everything I've published.  So far, 2015 has been a good year.  I berate myself for not writing enough, for not sending out enough.  Then I update and I realize that even my less vigorous efforts lead to results.

If you want to see what I've been writing and publishing when I haven't been writing poems or thinking about my memoir/essay collection, see this post, "Failing at our Lenten Disciplines," at the Living Lutheran site.  Although it has a theological point of view, my point has wider applications.  So many of us try to be more disciplined (with exercise, with creative pursuits, with what we eat, on and on I could go), and so often we fail.

I leave you with this quote to bring you inspiration:  "It’s good to remember what many a behavioral psychologist could have told us from the start: We learn more from failure than we do from success, and with most change, it takes some failure before we find success."

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