We’ve been traveling a bit the past two months…first to Chicago, coincidentally with four lifelong friends, to celebrate Kate’s graduation and architect-launching moment. We came home and welcomed Alex and her dear friend Megan for a long weekend, then Kate and Brendan for a week or so. Then we packed our bags again and flew east for our nephew Steven’s wedding to the lovely Laura, and a few days with cousins Chris and Christine and their boys on Nantucket. I believe we are home for a while. at least until we finish laundry.
While the trips didn’t offer much in the way of “what are we going to do today nothingness” that I equate with vacations, they gave me a chance to ponder what’s important to me, besides easy access to my morning coffee. I’m almost 60 days out from my 60th birthday, so in the Kim world of project making, there must be a new one around the corner. I am beginning work with a writing coach and I am still writing 35 words stories, some fledgling poetry and some stuff that doesn’t know what it is yet. I’m enjoying the trees in our backyard that seem to have doubled in size this year, summer salads, a few books, and having my mama close by. I have some work to do, but this morning, it all seems possible.
Kate believes work isn’t art until it is shared (even if it’s not done). She believes it’s only way we learn. And I believe her. So here are a few new poems to share:
Like the Hawk
I heard a famous poet say
the hawk doesn’t ask who he is,
why he flies or if he should.
He’s just a hawk and does his thing
without question or doubt.
So why hesitate and deny
who we are and what we do
to survive this flight of life?
Why we love or grieve,
show up ready or stay in bed,
all day and the next?
Is it too soon to pry open
eyes and hearts,
too late to shed sorrow
(and the extra 20 pounds)?
Is it the coward’s way to return
what wasn’t intended
for our beginning and becoming
Should I get the tattoo (maybe),
buy the good wine (yes),
forgive and forget (perhaps not yet)?
Why measure and judge
(ourselves and others)
for being human,
flawed and fabulous?
For living too much or too little,
grounding ourselves in fear?
Is it possible (please say so)
to accept what is,
and simply soar
when the air is right
where we are?
The stylish book promised
to change my life
if I followed one rule.
Keep what sparks joy
and toss the rest.
I complied, boxing up
books and clothes I forgot I owned.
I didn’t let messy feelings
get in the way.
And then, suddenly,
it didn’t seem so neat—
giving up artifacts of my life.
The toddler shoes, glitter scuffed.
Jars of rocks, dishes of glass.
A shea seed from under an African tree.
Tiny paintings, quotes and cards.
Notebooks half empty, baskets half full.
Why must I give it away, only to begin again?
For a year I held a spiritual strike on
and moved my stuff around.
The salmar kameez I wore in Bihar.
An inch-tall lantern made from a bullet, gifted
on a Bolivian mountaintop, with air so thin
I could barely breathe.
A collection of paper and packages, London,1981.
One vocabulary card that reads, simply, beautiful.
I gathered the stuff that belonged
to our mothers, and stored it for my daughters,
because all stuff deserves a loving home.
And while I may not be disciplined,
I am welcoming, with room and closets to share.
Last week I was ready to embark again.
I gave away the book and kept my life.
When I first wake
there’s a moment between
the dream and the day,
where I always believe in good.
Where kind and calm
slowly ease out
from under the sheets, before I even move.
There’s a minute, maybe less, when
don’t remember what happened or what might.
I take a breath and trust the promise of the sun
to those who need it most.
I’m never really ready to open my eyes,
and lift my head from the pillow,
but hope pushes me onto the floor.
One foot, then the other, past the
dreams, into the day. Good morning.
May light fill us all.