Joy Harjo

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179782

 

I love this poem by Joy Harjo. Hopefully, tomorrow I will link some photos of Ashland University’s beautiful campus. I am in intense writer/reader mode! So much to learn…so many ideas…this is an inspiring place.

 

 

A Day in the Life…

People really do wonder what I do all day, or I like to pretend they do because it feeds my wood pile of self-absorption I suppose. Today was a pretty typical day for me. I woke up a bit later than usual at 7:15, groped around like a clumsy blind person for morning coffee, took a few sips and decided NOPE not making it to Pilates at 8:15. My hair was a bird’s nest. I have naturally curly hair and it tends to change into whatever shape I decided to sleep in and stay there. I actually have to do my hair to go to the YMCA, or maybe undo would be a more appropriate term.

After a couple cups of coffee I surfed the net then settled into an essay written by Wendell Berry at Christian Century. I realized early into the essay that in order to finish it I would have to subscribe so of course I did. Then I read the daily poems at Poetry Daily and Verse Daily and turned on my Pandora and commenced to write a poem. In between writing the poem I checked Facebook, updated my Google Calendar, and caught up with Gwyneth over at GOOP which motivated me to suddenly wonder what half a million dollars would buy a person in the housing market of Santa Barbara. I also wrote a personal letter which  if I ever print it out to mail it will take up four pages single-spaced ( I won’t) and tidied up the house for the realtor who called to say she was stopping by this afternoon to take photographs of the rooms of the house. I also read through my own poems in random fashion which is my editing process.

After lunch with my husband I put on exercise clothes and spent forty minutes running on the treadmill. Then off to the grocery store for today’s dinner which is crock pot potato soup. I picked up my son from school, cut open a cantaloupe for him , scooped out the seeds and acted like this is something he will never be able to do for himself…which gets me to now, updating my blog.

My life is not exciting enough for GOOP or Facebook. As writers, we have to create fertile environments for creative flow to happen. It doesn’t always happen, but we have to keep the possibility open, the spaces clear.

Poem Published

One of my poems has been published at http://burnsidewriters.com/2013/02/24/altar/.

 

I wrote this poem about 15 years ago and never thought this one would get published. It reflects where I was as a poet at that time in my life. The poem’s strengths are a clear conceptual direction and good use of specifics, but it is, in the end, too “prosey” for me. What rhyme there is is rather clunky.

That being said, it’s nice to see such an old poem find a good home. As writers, we need just enough success to keep us in the game.

As is evident in the poem, I have a love/hate relationship with the evangelical prayer room, and with the notion that salvation must be revisited again and again. What must be revisited is the astounding concept that we are saved, made perfect, continually held in the hand of God in our current state, even when we sin.

The poem attempts not to criticize too stealthily the prayer room, but to expand that image to include not only the Christian’s environment (i.e. manmade altar, prayer room, sanctuary, etc.) but also the human body as altar in and of itself with no need for other trappings.

As a Christian, I am not moving in and out of the Light–I am simply forgetting to realize the Light is always there.