A Poem Reminds Us that it’s All Practice

I know this for sure, taking time for quiet creativity is so important. When was the last time you played with words or crayons or paper and glue? Kindergarteners know a fundamental truth, creative play is fundamental part of our innate goodness.

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Thank God for The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Arriving in my email box every morning
like clockwork.
Making each new thought
feel like a poem in its
own right.

I become more aware
of the subtle rhythms
of every day language
the way poetry makes my
prefrontal cortex feel like it’s purring.

But I know this doesn’t make me a poet, but sometimes I like to pretend and do it anyway. I know this for sure, taking time for quiet creativity is so important. When was the last time you played with words or crayons or paper and glue? Kindergarteners know a fundamental truth, creative play is fundamental part of our innate goodness. Today, or sometime this weekend, can you make a little time for some?

Have fun. Be gentle with yourself. Remember, we call it practice for a reason. Enjoy the miracle of being alive.

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And here now the lovely poem which arrived in my email this morning.

Commuter Buddhist
by Jeffrey Harrison

I’m learning to be a Buddhist in my car,
listening to a book on tape. One problem
is that, before I’ve gotten very far,

my mind gradually becomes aware
that it has stopped listening, straying from
the task of becoming a Buddhist in my car.

I’m also worried that listening will impair
my driving, as the package label cautions,
but I haven’t noticed that, at least so far.

In fact, I may be driving with more care.
There’s a sensation of attentive calm
that’s part of becoming a Buddhist in your car.

A soothing voice drones on until the car
is transformed into a capsule of wisdom
traveling at high speed, and you feel far

from anywhere but where you really are …
which is nowhere, really. The biggest problem
is getting the Buddhism out of your car
and into your life. I’ve failed at that so far.

“Commuter Buddhist” by Jeffrey Harrison, from Into Daylight. © Tupelo Press, 2014. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Carpe Pacem everyone. May you and all living beings be free of suffering. May all beings enjoy ease and joy.

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Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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