Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poetry is Motion...


Poetry has not been my strong subject in school but I enjoy reading poetry. Complex poetry is hard to understand but I still like reading it even though I may walk away shaking my head wondering what the darn thing was about. I like simple poetry that has a crisp message; just enough to bring a pang to your heart. I like poetry I can relate to and I like poetry that makes me think much deeper about things than I have ever done before. I like to try to think about what the writer was thinking at the time pen hit the paper. Where were they? What experience did they just have? What brought them to this moment in time to extinguish such thought and emotion?

I like to write poetry as well. However, my poems are not as articulate and coherent as others. I recently came across this poem called The Journey that really resonated with me.

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old rug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations-
through their melancholy
was terrible.
it was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the starts began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Does this poem speak to you? I can probably assume that reading this poem snapped you back in time to a place you were that spoke these words. You can recall what happened to you that detoured you from the life you knew and created for yourself. Maybe it was a small moment but big enough for you to stop and redirect yourself; maybe it was a grand moment when your world was rattled off its foundation. No matter the details of this event you were touched and your journey was changed. YOU always know what you have to do but facing what you know to be true is torture. Hard. Painful. Confusing. Scary. Change is not easy when you are in control and nearly impossible when someone takes that control from you and forces the decision upon you. You know what I wonder? I wonder if they ever thing about the pain and barrel full of emotions that they caused someone because of their decision that so deeply affected you. Do they think about you after they changed the course of your life. What I would like to yes but the truth to the matter is I know they don't. I've heard it. Business is business and there is no room for emotion in business. I know that people who have changed my journey never think about what it did to me. But, I don't really think about this. I don't give my time, energy, thoughts to people who are not worthy of it. Life happened and it will not be filled with people who extract my good energy and good intentions.

The Journey spoke volumes to me. As a matter of fact I am going to try to rewrite this poem in calligraphy and frame it as a reminder of those voices in my head and the only life I have to save. Sometimes someone elses experience and articulation of words are just the right stepping stones you need to rewrite your new beginning.

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