Tuesday, 17 February 2015

'Poetry is taking place...'

Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert for sharing today, this lovely quote from Philip Levine: 

Dont scorn your life just because it's not dramatic or it's impoverished or it looks dull or it's workaday. Dont scorn it.
It is where poetry is taking place if you’ve got the sensitivity to see it, if your eyes are open.’ 

Doing life imperfectly is all there is. I started today not too sure if a 'day off' was a good idea, bless me. So many things I could be doing: attending to the many and various needs of business startup, clearing clutter in my ongoing minimalism project, painting the words I need the most, currently re-working ‘EXTREME SELF CARE'.
Let alone writing to the landlords re the botched repairs, updating my website, you get the drift. 
© Maggie Sawkins 2014 All rights reserved 
My art work on Etsy

Yet today I’m following a suggestion to put one foot in front of the other and get out and about on this glorious nearly-spring day. Walking through the sunlit city has been a joy. Seeing Marlene Dumas’ amazing portraiture at the Tate Gallery, practising being 'off' on a Tuesday. I'm listening to the sublime harmonies of First Aid Kit and looking out at the sun and  the workmen dangling on the facade of the new Tate as I write. 

I tend towards an attention-deficit habit, a butterfly mind, always juggling ‘too many’ projects. Gradually though, simplicity is coming. Thirty minutes at a time, I’m reducing the paper of years of work as an employed then freelance mediator, a trainer of mediation, public speaking in schools, art teacher, illustration student, freelance artist. 

And so much has got so much simpler. More spaces in my home, letting go of the ‘evidence’ that I worked hard. I believed someone, who with his love of the harsh put-down, once commented once that he’d ‘never seen me work hard for anything’. I took that comment and let it damage me. These days, I know he was wrong and I was wrong to believe him. I'm curating my life's work to date: letting go of the things I don't enjoy. Finding ways to love my life - not wait for it to be 'better'.

Loving the sky today… big expanse of dusty blue with the smoggy horizon, soft sun on city cranes and buildings new and old. A glorious day. This moment is all we have. How do we make choices each day to do the thing that suits us most, whilst bringing in the dollars and keeping home and self together. Do we have to suffer to live? We are making new choices each day - finding a way to live and thrive, whether we are creating the self-employed shape that work can be, or riding the merry-go-round of a 40 hour work week. Whatever we are doing, we are creating. It doesn't have to be perfect. And don't scorn it. Poetry is taking place.