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Opportunity Knocks

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We can live as a shell/waiting to crack or as a/dove waking to its song. Poem excerpt: For the Thousandth Time I Want To Know– Mark Nepo- The Way Under The Way

With uncertainty knocking on our collective consciousness in the guise of the COVID-19 virus we are also being called to how we choose to weather the storm. Will hysteria be our reaction, or will calm be our response and prevail?  We are being called to examine ourselves, family, communities, conduct, and culture and move in awareness towards recovery for the greater good.

We can only do this in baby steps; through observation rather than denial. The path is uncertain which is no different from everyday life; however because of the evidence of the virus we are being shown the very real nature of uncertainty which at its simplest is unknown. Consequently how we respond individually and collectively will influence the outcome.

I see this as a great opportunity to evaluate how I live my life. Educate myself rather than deny indicators; take precautions rather than give way to fear; create networks of interdependence rather than separation; maintain calm rather than panic, and with it take the necessary actions to maintain equilibrium in my own circle of influence.

My sway is a mere sand granule on the beach of life, but like a pebble is given to the pond, and that action brings ripples in the pond, I can only hope my words will empower others to maintain balance in this uncertainty; allow the unification of our actions to provide stability to the whole. It is all we can do collectively in such uncertainly. We are all interconnected.    

“What can anyone give you greater than now…” Poem excerpt: You Reading this, Be Ready—William Stafford from The Poetry Remedy: Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind, and Soul; by William Sieghart

Writing Practice: In this technological age even in our isolation we are connected. Not in the interpersonal sense at the moment.  So with the view of staying close to home I am taking the opportunity to sort through boxes of journals and other such ramblings that have accumulated over the years. Sort and discard. Declutter. Only keep the relevant and resonant. Sort through photographs, images, books, papers etc. Keep or let go.

In the event you also have accumulated “stuff” to sort through, high cupboards where things have accumulated, boxes that haven’t been opened in years—take this time to sort and let-go. Now write about your experience in any form you choose [journal, story, poem-making, art, imaging, photography etc.] on how it feels to let go and refresh your living space given this opportunity. I’d love to hear from you.  Email me at: writingmybrain@gmail.com Happy sorting!

Author: Angela Simmons

Angela Simmons champions individuals and groups to write4health. Her PLAYshops use writing as a path to unravel glitches, blocks, and stumbles, gain insights and keys, and develop a writing practice for personal health and wellness. She uses poetry, prose, photography and memory keeping as means to access inner knowing. Her focus is mental health and pain management. She advocates a mind/body connection. To contact email: writingmybrain@gmail.com In-joy!

One thought on “Opportunity Knocks

  1. Hi Angie, I hope I am using the right address by pressing the Reply button. If you receive  what I am about to write simply send me a note,”Got it”, If I don’t hear from  you I’ll try again.

    Every form of media is so full of news and comment on the virus. It feels like this is the only thing deserving  our attention  despite the general mess of the world at large. True, what is going on now is immediate, scary and calling for all kinds of hard decisions. You and I at the present aren’t in a situation that causes the  grief, anxiety and stress that millions are trying to cope with. I just feel like making comment on  something else that your brain has written about just now.

    You wrote about how you are now doing a sort of inventory of what you have accumulated, things you have written, photos, bits and pieces that you have saved because they appealed to you at the time and you felt they should be saved. Your words “spoke to my condition.” you might say. (That expression, I think has its origin among the Quakers, but I could be wrong) You see , beginning with my emptying my home at Pine Canyon Ranch in order to ready it for renting, I have been parting with things which I considered precious. Such a painful process!. Shane and his two kids moved into the house a year ago last July and they dearly love living there which makes me happy. However, this started me recognizing that even more letting go is inevitable. If and when I can no longer drive a car, I will have to move into a cramped (for me, as I imagine)  space, living cheek and jowl with folk whom I don’t find particularly interesting and bringing with me only the bare necessitys of living.  I know that is a bleak picture. It could come about that I am tickled pink in that new setting and I will no longer have to remember to take out the garbage on a Tuesday and someone will bring my daily meds, both of which I occasionally forget now. ( Plus delightful companions sharing my table and delicious food which has been prepared by someone else.

    Recently, something I found especially wrenching was to to let go of two large scrapbook that included things going back at least 70 years, waste baskets crammed with articles, poems, wedding invitations, baby arrivals( kids who now are grandparents), thoughtful  accounts of  current world events that now are a part of history. You get the idea, I’m sure. I kept two scrapbok pages pasted full of things I couldn’t part with and one is the attached poem which also spoke to my condition. My printer no longer has the capacity to scan and print so I copied it  exactly with the punctuation and format of the poet. I don’t know if what you are doing now in downsizing causes you to empathize with the woman who ” took the babe and walked”. You don’t yet have the pressure of letting go that comes with having had a  90th birthday party.

    I shared the poem (and the emotions it brought) with a far away and long time friend who will soon celebrate “the big Nine Oh” and I told her I felt compelled to write a poem expressing how I feel about leaving my own walnut chest behind on the trail. I have been thinking about what I would write but have put nothing into words. Something has come into my head since starting this letter. I want to write a simple collection of thoughts about letting go of precious things.    I want to send these to you and, using your wonderful gift of making  poetry from such a collection, I would love to have you create a poem  such as you did  when my scattered thoughts turned into _The Homecoming_, something we created together. I treasure it and love the way it expresses how I feel about that scrap of sky , imperfect as it is, yet it reminds me of the wide and star-filled sky of the ranch. Tell me what you think. OK?

    Sending love,                         Julie