After blogging for six years, I sometimes wonder if it is time to let go. Float away past the ether . . .
Instead of blogging, I could take photography and painting classes that are part of the “road not taken” I want to travel.
And speaking of travel, there’s that long bucket list.
Finally, there’s the mission of preparing for death and helping others do the same.
But I’m not yet ready to give up blogging as I continue my search. That’s why I decided last week to see how much memoir I might still have inside as I explore the Box in the Basement. I wasn’t being coy. Should I write a sequel to Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World?
Your comments on that post were so helpful! They help me to stay open in this place of indecision and exploration, waiting on the new call. That’s hard for an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale. 🙂
My job right now is to dwell in possibilities.
That phrase from Emily Dickinson means more to me now because I’m “taking” the class called Modern and Contemporary Poetry. It’s a MOOC — a massive open online course — taught at the University of Pennsylvania to thousands of students throughout the world.
It’s an amazing experience and not what I expected. It’s actually intimate. The professor, Al Filreis, not only loves his subject, he has a wonderful collaborative pedagogy and a huge heart. He’s as selective as Emily Dickinson and as inclusive as Walt Whitman. He transforms the lives of many students.
Two poems from that class are helping me right now.
I dwell in Possibility – (466)
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
When Al Filreis teaches”I dwell in Possibility,” he does so by using the “collective close read” approach, asking each of his students to elaborate on each word of this poem. In rapid-fire succession, they dissect the metaphor of the house in the poem. The professor flings out a few ideas of his own, including this zinger:
“The word ‘this’ is the most important word in the English language.”
If this truly is the most important word, than this time, this place I dwell, this occupation of waiting and being open, this is the thing itself! And writing these words, this too, is my calling.
And you, dear reader, are implicated too. You are part of THIS.
Or to say it a little differently:
Song of Myself (1892 version)
By Walt Whitman
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.