Monday, June 4, 2012

On keeping things simple...

I just got home from a writers group meeting, a read and critique where people share parts of their work and get feedback from everyone present.

Such an eclectic group tonight! A man in his 90's writing his memoir of growing up in the twenties and thirties, a psychologist (not me) with a non-fiction self-help book about shame, another memoir writer who has been a political activist, two young female fantasy novelists, and little old me, tonight with a poem.

I shared "Tubac" (see post dated May 27), actually two versions of the poem, the original from my post and a somewhat longer version where I was playing with the placement of words on the page.  The overall consensus was that those present liked the first, simpler version better.  In fact, so do I.  The original one, more spare and minimal, conveys the feeling better.  I still have some tweaking to do, but it brings me to my thought for the evening.

That is, how simpler usually IS better, in most areas of my life.  Why then do I complicate things so?  Embellishing when none is needed, cluttering when I prefer clear, second-guessing an original impulse or intuition, going around the point instead of straight to it, complicating things by postponing and procrastinating.

Actually "why" is not really the issue; I know the why.  The why always has to do with some self-limiting belief or habitual response, being in my head and not my heart or soul, or having lost sight at the moment of what it is I truly want and who I am.

The issue is continuing to work on the "how" of keeping things simple, honest, spacious and true.  Meditation helps, a lot.  So do family and friends who will (lovingly) call me on my shit, or challenge me to move beyond.

Mostly it has to do with staying mindful.  Because if I am in the present moment, that awareness and connection is like a lighthouse beacon, showing the way through the fog, to a clearing.  In that clearing,  whatever is essential remains, and the rest falls away.

So here is the original poem again, with just a little of that tweaking.  I will post the more complicated version tomorrow, and you can see what you think.

Tubac                                                                                                            version 1

is how I wish to be
like the hawk, black against blue
jade cactus below
and brown desert hills rise
just on the horizon
wings open
with draft and drift
in the moment before hunger and hunt
simply being
the floating
between earth and sky
in the nuance of now.

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