Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quiet Work

Today, I came across a comment from a July post that I'd missed. It's lovely (you can read it following my post "Taking It up a Notch"). I don't know who it's from but this sentence from it got me thinking and inspired me to write this post (in which I have no idea what I will say):

"Thanks for reminding me what lovely, quiet work it can be to stay away from the long slide down..."

That's almost more than I can ask for...being that my life, my writing, my friendships, my teaching.

I have not yet published a book, or gotten out of debt, or had children, or fixed the dent in the side door of my Subaru, or had success in lasting love (tho M. is still picking berries for me, even if from afar). I will turn 40 in less than two months. I can't do lotus position anymore. My hips are bad. My employment situation is up in the air. When I write a paragraph like this with so many "I"s I worry I'm still overly consumed with my own problems.

Those are the things that can plague me on a bad day, a day I forget what it was like to live at the bottom of that long slide down. I forget how I clawed my way up and out (I thought *I* was doing it but I had more help than I ever thought I'd need). It doesn't seem necessary to say more than that.

Except maybe that it's the little things we start with that save our lives. For me, at one point, it was doing the dishes.

Today, it's taking walks.

I read this just an hour ago in an interview with poet Mark Doty:

"The inner life happens in the body and the body is always somewhere. For me, it's the vehicles the world provides, what Whitman called 'the dumb beautiful ministers' that allow us to see the soul."

My "dumb beautiful ministers" right now are my sneakers and the trees and the pots in my sink which last night sat one inside the other--the soapy water flowing over the sides of the smallest, and into the next and the next. A dumb beautiful fountain. Just dirty pots. In my sink.