This morning, I finally wrote a poem. I looked back through my poetry notebook, and it's been almost a month. It has been a humdinger of a month, between my online ENC1102 class with its intense pace of a piece of work due 4-6 days of the week, work which must be graded, and my trip to Mepkin Abbey.
Yet I also feel like I've been telling myself this story every month: Last month was a humdinger, but the pace of my life should be calming down soon, and I'll get some writing done.
Let me sit with this idea for a bit, before I come up with plan A, B, C and a back up plan for each. This morning let me be happy that I wrote a poem.
I came back from Mepkin with a new poem in my head, a poem inspired by a time during our retreat when I watched the monastery dog sleeping in the sun, and I thought of a previous retreat where we talked about needing to find time to write. I thought about the monastery dog who knows how to prioritize her time. I liked the contrast.
Over the past week, I've thought of different contrasts. I thought of a retreatent who brought her own organic food and didn't eat the food prepared by the monks. I thought of us all at the Sunday Eucharist service, even though we all came from a variety of practices.
I'm still wrestling with the poem, but I'm happy to have work on paper to revise.
I thought I had written about the monastery dog before. In a blog post, from 2015, I had written this:
"At first I felt sorry for the monastery dog. She seemed so eager for attention. I thought about all the children who would never be part of her world.
Yet as my week-end at the monastery proceeded, I decided that the monastery dog was lucky. She had a never-ending supply of visitors who would likely pet her. The monks would take care of her. Not every community has taken a vow of hospitality, after all. She could have been abandoned to a much worse fate.
And she had vast fields at her disposal. No cooped up back yards for her. Her joy at racing across the grounds made me happy too."
I thought I had written that poem, but I looked through older poetry notebooks this morning, and now I'm thinking that I planned to write it, but it's one of many poems that I never actually wrote.
The eternal question: how many of these poem ideas should I return to?
That's a question for another day. Today it's time to return to the main campus for my week of trainings. Today it's the student tracking system--another computer system that will be able to do far more than I will ever dream of asking it to do.
Yet another metaphor waiting for a poem . . .
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