More than usual, this week, time seems to have fashioned a particularly elastic quality.
Drawing tight to remind me that each moment is precious.
While also opening wide and shrugging off boundaries with a sense of eternity.
And we live in the messy and unpredictable in-between, with its associated sense of disorientation and ephemeral opportunities.
So how might we redeem our relationship with time and feel our way into a rhythm that serves us and the world around us well?
Recently I came across this evocative invitation from the farmer/poet Wendell Berry, which offers a means of navigation:
HOW TO BE A POET
(to remind myself)
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.+ Wendell Berry from ‘The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry’, listen to his reading for On Being
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
… because at heart, we are all poets.