Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lenten Discipline: Progress Report #1

A week ago, I'd have been washing the ashes off my face.  On Ash Wednesday, when I knelt to receive the ash cross on my forehead, I got more ash than anticipated.  Ash fell across my eyebrow and onto my cheek.  As I wiped my face, I made it worse, or better, depending on your viewpoint.

I've said before that I could use a daily reminder of the shortness of our time here, something to keep our descent into ash ever present to me.  If only I had time to design jewelry!

But jewelry design is not my Lenten discipline.  I have decided to work on my memoir 3-4 days a week and to write one poem every day.  So far, I've done well. 

Of course, it's early yet.  But I'm happy that it's going well so far. 

I'm also giving myself latitude to write a gratitude haiku at the end of the day to fulfill my poem-a-day obligation, if I hadn't produced anything else.  It's a practice that I've been wanting to explore.

I'm using the word "haiku" very loosely.  I simply mean the form of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the 3rd line.  I am aware that if I adhered to the Japanese form, I'd need to be writing very different poems.

So, I've written 2 haiku and 6 non-haiku poems. 

As with regular blogging or taking a photograph daily, writing a poem a day trains me to be aware.  I'm always looking for nuggets that could lead to a poem.  I'm always thinking about the next day's task.

Here's the gratitude haiku I wrote last night:

I am so much more

than the sum of my e-mails
whole worlds hidden plain

If you want to know more about what prompted it, go to this post on my creativity blog. 

So far, Lent seems different to me this year.  I'm often in a severe mood.  This year, I feel more joyous.  My spouse continues his successful recovery from his back surgery, which leaves me hopeful, not somber.  It also makes me mindful of our dusty destiny, a feeling that we're staving off the inevitable descent into pain that comes with aging.  Still, I'm happy that his spine could be repaired this time.

No comments: