This morning I awoke to headlines about the assassination in Iraq of a top Iranian military leader. I felt my blood rising to a boil over the appalling mess the current inhabitant of the White House is making of everything he touches.
I moved further down my list of mail and came across a reference to a wonderful article, “Ichigo Ichie,” about the importance of being “moment hunters,” of looking for value in a precious instant of time that will not come again. The value of just being still, of looking around, of grounding in the present. I have linked it here.
What could I do to apply it to the negativity I was experiencing?
Then I remembered a precept from Julia Cameron, author of Walking in the World, which I am now reading. In it, she talks about the importance to creativity of taking a walk each day. Since I can’t walk on the ship except around a boring track or on the treadmill in the gym, I decided to go stand outside and watch the water, to see if I could move my head into a better place.
Within a few minutes, a transformation began. Cameron is right, that dusrupting routines invites the inner artist to surface. I haven’t written anything creative in years now, but within a half an hour, I became a poet again.
The ocean calls,
Come out, stand at the rail, see me.
Watch the show the ship and I put on for you.
See the spray escaping from the bow,
How every plume is different.
This one a skier’s trail down a mountain of new powder
This one breath on a dandelion
This one the tumble of spilled white paint.
A roar in a packed stadium
A slammed door echoing in a hallway
The whisper of a conspirator beckoning.
Drawing close, each swell says “here I am, this one is me.
What can we become before I take my water back?”
The ocean stretches to a monotonous horizon.
Ship and swell make art of the moment.
It’s not particularly good poem, but because I am staying in the present, I don’t intend to polish it. It is a poem about a moment. It is mine, and that is good enough. And at least for now, my rage is tamed.