In the busy-ness of my life, at times I let some things slip to the side, at times other things. Saying that it’s all about priorities doesn’t always mean that the “important” things get done; priorities shift, sometimes within the space of moments. The only thing that is sure is that I never get it all done.
Doen talks about not living our lives saying “if only, if only, if only . . . ”—and the next word in that line is “dead.” We can spend our whole lives waiting for things to line up, to be just right, before we start on a project that we’ve always wanted to do, or spend time with a friend or relative, or any of a million things that we think of but don’t act on.
It’s certainly something that I do, but I do it less often because I hear Doen’s voice saying “if only, if only, if only . . . dead.” Tonight, after tucking my daughter in, I thought through the many things I could do: make salsa from the tomatoes from my garden and can it for a cold Winter day; write to an old friend; read a novel; watch a movie; hey—I could get some sleep. But I realized it’s Poem Saturday and, dammit, I need to post. As so often happens, this poem popped right out as I was looking for one, and it fits perfectly with the “I’ll do it when . . .” syndrome.
(Many thanks to my brother, who called me one morning from Thailand, out of the blue, to read this to me on a day when it was exactly what I needed to hear.)
“—you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find