Monday, September 1, 2014

Things I've learned...A new series

Episodically I seem to lose the urge to write. I don't feel drawn to write about anything in particular and my blog sits dormant for a few weeks. Often  it seems that I am thus afflicted during the summer months. I don't know why - I would like to write but nothing comes and then I feel bad for neglecting this, my small bit space of cyberspace.

However, I am ready to begin again (and, of course, to do penance for my sins of omission). So I have decided to begin a new series of posts. Because I am just beginning, I have no idea how long it will go on but it seems to have potential to continue for a while. 

I would like to write about things I've learned recently. And it feels like I have been learning a lot.

Many years ago, I frequently encountered a friend of a friend at parties. In the course of party small talk, he often asked the question, "Have you learned anything lately?" I always loved this question and loved reciprocating it. As an introvert, I didn't always find it easy to move past the obvious small talk to the deeper topics I enjoyed.

As it became almost a tradition to exchange the asking of this question, it became evident that it could be answered in many, many ways. I could comment that I had learned how to change a tire or I could relate that I had learned that it was more important to respect others' feelings than to argue my most dearly held political views. The possibilities were endless.

In keeping with this old tradition, my plan to is to post about things I have learned in recent times. Some of them may be light, others deeper - but all in the interest of sharing. I hope that what I have learned may be of help to you, my reader, but also that it my stimulate you to reflect on what you have been learning at this time in your life...

So here we go... I decided to start out a bit light...

Things I've learned: #1

Rhyming poems can be a lot of fun and still communicate something thoughtful. 

Aside from sonnets, which often seemed like too much work, for quite some time I had developed the notion that a "serious" poem should not rhyme. In other words, if I wanted people to take a poem of mine seriously, I should not have it rhyme. Rhymes made it seem too amateurish, like something a child might write because they thought all poems had to rhyme.

How utterly snobbish of me.

I have learned that poems can rhyme or not rhyme. People may or may not take them seriously. It is up to me to write what is given, whether in a spirit of fun or deep contemplation. Life needs both - and sometimes they walk hand-in-hand.

The other night, I was doing a little mini-retreat at home and had thoughts of how I would spend the time with God. However, I found myself so very tired that all I wanted to do was sleep. I walked out to my kitchen window and saw a number of moths and winged creatures lusting after the light bulbs hanging from my ceiling. 

The first line of a rhyme-y little poem appeared in my once weary mind and the rest of the evening opened up to words and images that were completed the next day. Nothing so terribly special - but important lessons contained within.

And so I am learning...

greetings little winged things
who to my windows cling!

each summer night we thus begin
as you flutter at the light within.

you think your joy will be complete
if this obstacle you can defeat.

but this, my little friends, is sin,
for the true barrier lies within.

so still your wings and end your strife;
turn to Him who gives us life.

rely not on your own poor might
but make His love your heart’s delight.

for when our wills to Him do bend
they find the joy that has no end.

(Look for more posts in this series - have I learned anything else lately?)