Today’s prompt is to write a sketch poem. Most of my poetry is sketches anyway, imagistic moments, a few lines of spiderweb, a dash of color, touch of light.
Crouching in the doorway of your lost hopes, you raise your head. Morning sun dazzles your eyes in a wash of gold and green. Someone’s rooster crows in the distance, and a thousand little birds bring the garden alive.
And then your name, there in the too-bright light: an egg, a seed, planted in the soil of your confusion, your grief.
Wake up! Do not try to touch the heart of it. Not yet. Breathe it in. Let it grow within you. Now go and speak your truth to those who will listen.
Here we are at Janus’ Doorway again. Janus, remember, is the two-faced Roman god who stands in doorways and gateways and openings, his face looking back to where he came from and forward to where he is headed. And on this day we, too, have made a practice of looking forward as we look back: What do I hold in my heart from the past year? What do I want to keep and improve upon? What do I regret? What do I leave behind with relief? And: What am I looking forward to? What do I want to maintain as the thread that continues from year to year to year? What do I want to pick up What can I strive to become as I step through this gate into the next phase?
Some years I make Resolutions. Some years I eschew them. Some years I make them with qualifications or new names like Intentions or Principles. This year, they’re Resolutions again. I can sit with that. Some of these are loftier than others.
Resolutions In 2019, I resolve to:
Continue banning face and name of the attention-monger on my FB page. No posts of him.
Nourish my body with care, and make sure to strengthen and stretch.
Tend to my inner life with even greater care. Expand spiritual practices and lifelines.
Let the madwoman out of the attic. Give her flowers and colors, nice music and rich scents.
Be actively kinder to my children.
Finish the book. Can I finish the book this year? I think maybe I can finish the book.g
Gratitude List: 1. Closing the book on the challenges of 2018. 2. Opening a new chapter. 3. Blank pages. 4. Supportive, overlapping circles of community. 5. The blue of those clouds on this first morning of the new year.
May we walk in Beauty!
Today’s Quotations list is long. I decided to include two of my own New Year’s poems.
Words for the Seventh Day of Kwanzaa: The word for this last day of Kwanzaa is Imani, or Faith. Believe that your dreams have the power to create change in the world. May it be so for you and for me and for all who long for and work for justice in the coming year.
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier.’” —Alfred Tennyson
“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.” ―Joan Chittister
Walking Through the Gateway of Another Year
By Beth Weaver-Kreider, 2017
Let’s call them New Year’s Revolutions
In the coming year, I resolve to re-solve my problems and issues every day, not just on this morning.
For every morning is the morning
of a whole new year,
a bright blank page
in which any thing
can be a new thing.
Let every moment be a moment like now, when the newborn sun shines over the ridge onto the scarlet breast of a cardinal, and the eye for a moment sees nothing but sparkling red.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.” —T. S. Eliot
“And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.”
“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” ―Mary Oliver
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is How It Begins (a New Year’s poem) by Beth Weaver-Kreider, January 1, 2016
This is how it begins:
each year, each week, each day,
each golden shining drop of moment
full of expectancy,
ready for our use.
How will I inhabit the house
of the now that approaches?
How will I wear the cloth
of the day that is given?
How will I wander the story
of the year that has just now
leapt into shining view
through the gray clouds of winter?
I will face this year with resolution
(this week, this day, this moment)
not to wait until this whirling planet
has danced around the sun
to make the new thing new,
but to step into each freshly-birthed now
with eyes that see the golden shine of possibility
and ears that hear the note of each plucked strand of moment.
What is gestating within you in these days? What ideas and dreams are you brooding on? What seeds are waiting deep within you to break open their casings and begin seeking upward for sunshine and air?
Now is the time to give them secret and tender names, to hold them gently and to imagine what how they will appear when they are full grown. Sing to them, those ideas and dreams. Breathe on them. Look lovingly upon them, with eyes full of wonder. It may even be time to begin to whisper them to the dawn: “I wonder how my life would be if I would. . .”
Gratitude List: 1. Gestating intentions and ideas
2. Time with family, chances to chat and catch up. These fine, fine young folks.
3. The Janus pose–looking forward, looking back. But being in this moment.
4. Figgy pudding
5. The marriage of wisdom and compassion.