Sunday, April 19, 2015

Heal The Day, Journey Whole

Each of our writing groups begins with an improvisation. We arrive to find a small handful of magnetic words clumped together at our seat. While waiting for others to join us, we comb through the words in our pile, foraging among them for the poem waiting there. We seek it out, applying ourselves to the task of releasing it from the surrounding jumble. Humorous, bizarre, sublime, disturbing, nonsensical, profound...all poems are accepted. Without judgement, we welcome each as gift.

A lovely writing exercise and, at the same time, a fitting model for life. We are presented at birth with a bundle of descriptors. Whether girl or boy, healthy or infirm, privileged or not, plain or attractive, these and other labels cling to us as we come into awareness, with others added in each passing year.

Our innate temperament unfolds, extroverted or inward~turning, with a set of aptitudes and constrictions that we carry with us as we relate to our families and the larger world. Events and encounters pull us forward. Some help us flourish, while others impose challenges, boulders in our path.

These many and varied details are the raw material of our lives. Our poem emerges from the interplay of these inner and outer forces, and it is one that continues to unfold for as long as we draw breath.

However, just as in our writing exercise, we are not passive participants in this process. We are given numerous opportunities to improvise, to consciously choose how to mix and manage the ingredients of our lives.

Each moment is an improvisational prompt offering itself to us. Rather than acting in the same stale and unconscious manner, we can be alert for wise and creative responses. At each juncture, we can be conscious that we are adding another line to these poems of ours.

While some verses will be more pleasing, all are an expression of that which imbues and gives rise to everything. For it all flows from that God~energy that sustains us and offers us myriad possibilities to awaken more fully. And awakening is infinitely more rewarding~~and fun~~than lumbering on through the fog.

Improvisation is never easy. It requires that we take responsibility for grabbing what comes our way, wanted or not, and turning it into poetry. Like now. I open my box of magnetic words, grab a handful, note a minimal worry that I won't find anything of merit, and discover the following poem…

Here are garden and shadow,
Roses whisper like medicine
Between ugly screams.
Our choice.
Heal the day,
Journey whole.

On this path of evolving consciousness, it's all just one grand Evening at the Improv. May our creations be true. And may they be works of beauty that heal the day and let us journey on whole.

Namaste, my fellow poets. Namaste.

Leia Marie


Anonymous said...

I always look forward to your essays because they say so much and are a great help in time of need. Your poem was good, I don't think I could have come up with anything. Ha! Peace to you and yours.

Leia Marie said...

About that poem thing…of course you would come up with something. Everyone always does. The words are right there~~so much easier than thinking them up all by yer lonesome~~and you just play around with them until they settle into their rightful place. Go to and get the original edition. Hours of fun! And truly great practice of life's improv.

I was a little uneasy that I might not find~~or be given~~a great poem. I'm pleased with what came. Though I had kinda promised myself that I'd put whatever came into the essay, it wasn't a firm promise and I'm not sure that I would have if it was a silly or bizarre poem. As it was, I was delighted. Heal the day, journey whole. How wonderful!!!

Thanks for all the sweet things you wrote, too. And thanks for reading! Oh, and sorry this has taken me awhile to post. Techno problems on this end!

Leia Marie said...

Ooops! I meant...And truly great practice FOR life's improv! Like when you post something with a typo!

Cindy said...

I loved your improvised poem. I wondered, did you discard any words or did you have to use them all? I have found that as I move into the second half of my life I have had the need to rethink some of the words that others and even myself have used to describe me in order to embrace my true self. To create my new wine-skin, as the old one will disintegrate with the opening up of my newly discovered spirit. The spirit I was born with but did not know about until I sat quietly contemplating who I really am in the big picture of (everything). Ah what freedom!
Thank you Leia

Leia Marie said...

Ah…so many things to respond to! First, the poem. There are no shoulds concerning how many of words to use. Just like life, there are all these possibilities coming our way, and we get to choose…to listen carefully for the poem wanting to come to life, and choose the elements that fit, letting the rest go.

And I do suspect that letting go of descriptors that no longer fit is a task particularly suited for the last half of life. The clock's a tickin', ya know? And we've seen enough by now to develop clearer vision. So we choose. We create, as you put it, a new wine-skin, one that fits what it needs to hold, the being we have become through that rich interplay that is Life. And that process seems to go best with some amount of stillness, of contemplation that we might not have had as much space or inclination for before.

So, Cindy, thanks for reading and for writing. And have a blast healing the day and journeying whole!

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Leia Marie