The Progress of Resolutions….

It is January 6th – a little less than one week after the euphoria of New Year’s Day – the day when the future is bright and all things are possible.  Typically I have abandoned most resolutions at this point because I realize that my expectations were totally unrealistic and rather than persevere I find it easier to say “next year”

It is not that this year is necessarily different.  I have not made good on several of the resolutions, but I have attempted many and I refuse to give up. While I have yet to develop an exercise routine (although I have at least watched the videos), I have had daily devotions.  And while I have not developed a daily writing routine, I have journaled about the insights received from those devotions.  Baby steps — I must keep reminding myself of the importance of baby steps.

While I continue to struggle to find the time – or the desire – to read a novel, I have actually taken baby steps towards completing two reading challenges that I did not join:  Fearless Poetry Exploration and Wendell Barry’s Reading Challenge.  I went to the library today and picked up the book The Collected Poems of Wendell Barry, a book recommended by my sister-in-law who claims to have been as intimated by poetry as I am – until she read this book.  I decided to just allow the book to open where it may and read a selection from that page.  Here is what I found:

A Warning to My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies.  That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.

I consider this a warning to my own readers.  Somehow this author, who is totally unfamiliar to me as I am to him, has captured the essence of my being.  Perhaps this is what poetry is all about.  Finding ourselves in the words of others.


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