Updated: Sep 25
I’ve been thinking so hard that I’ve landed in myself into the land of the fuzzy-headed, seeking solace in deep-sea naps on the couch, iced tea, and the refreshing wonder of Ricola cough drops. It’s also the land of watching: a chickadee zigzags across a board in our deck, taking in what the squirrel knocked over.
I’ve noticed how much considering the bigger questions of our lives is best counter-balanced by small animal moments of paying attention to the critters inside and outside of this house and this human. After all, we are animals ourselves, and animals can easily occupy our psyche as symbols and talismans (anyone else out there ever dream that your dog turns into a panther?). By leaving behind the figuring-it-out-fixer-bee excursions and just being present with what is at this moment, I can breathe myself into greater quiet, peace, and perhaps eventually, clarity.
It’s a funny thing — true of poetry and life — that observing what’s up close and personal can actually show us more of the big picture, sort of like looking at cells through a microscope to understand how life constructs itself. As a writer, I’m attuned to the small and vibrant: the cardinal driving off the little birds, the sky just now turning itself into scattered clouds between our shining day and our snow-to-come night, and even the sensation of my fingers on the keys of this laptop, clicking their way toward one specific word that will invite in the next word.