Snow drifts outside the windows of the car as I drive home from work. Left early to avoid slippery roads and rush hour traffic. Thankful that my old fashioned work ethic doesn't interfere with my sense of safety.
I'm listening to the CD "Clear Mind, Wild Heart" by David Whyte and coming to my senses. I have always known I am a poet. Even my license plate says so. I've been writing poetry since I first held a pencil and reading it with the fervor and love of an impassioned woman. So why does it take the thoughts of this Irish poet and philosopher to validate who I am?
I have written novels, and keep trying to convince myself that in order to be a recognized and successful writer I need to focus on a novel writing career. But that's not where my heart and soul live. They thrive here in the cadences of poetry and the images that rise in my mind as I listen to the words.
Yes, I have been working in a respectable field for over 25 years but this is not who I am, it is only what I do. Whyte talks about the exhaustion one feels when pursuing work that doesn't feed the heart and soul. I can relate.
Back at home, safe from the slippery slide of my all weather moccasins on the slick snow and ice, I spend some time "working from home." Now I shed the exhaustion of that work and don the cloak of poetry. Images emerge, words link together like prayer beads, and my heart opens. Life becomes more of who I am and less of what I do. I feel light and my mind is clear. I know what I am supposed to be doing.
I have several of David Whyte's CDs and they sustain me as I commute too and from work, wasting precious hours better spent pulling poetry from my soul and unwinding it on the page. His voice, and his pattern of repeating lines of poems two and three times as he reads, carry me along the road toward home.
Home is a warm and cozy apartment full of love. Home is also between lines of poetry, mine as well as other poets, and therein lies peace and a sense that I am doing what the work the world needs from me. I am free. I am content. My heart slows, my breath evens out, and my soul sits back and rests in the knowledge it has brought me to this place of poetry, a place of prayer, a place of warmth despite the icicles forming outside my office window.
to the ground
pile up like love