those wacky, wild, whims of insight

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Go for ten minutes. Write what you will miss when you die. Be specific. What are things that only you know about that will die with you? I’ll miss the dew on the grass.’ Hey, other people know that! No, they don’t. In this moment that you write it, you are the only one who feels that dew. Slow down and notice what you don’t notice, and realize that when you go, you’ll miss it. Yehuda Amichai, an Israeli poet, wrote about a bank teller he used to see at a bank, how she moved to Italy to go to medical school. After I heard that poem, I thought, ‘You really have to be dumb to write. You have to even notice and care about a bank teller.’ It was a beautiful poem. Get dumb. Don’t take things for granted. When I told some New Yorkers about dumbness in a workshop two months ago, they were so relieved. They were tired of being alert and intelligent. They wanted dream time. Walk around your neighborhood dumb for a half hour. Then go write about it- what you saw, what you’ll miss. Be specific. Stay with the details….Natalie Goldberg

we play and we make ice cream sundaes and we notice the blue candy, the sweet, cold, creamy, strawberry ice cream, the aging smiles of those we love, and the still hands of the clock when we reach into dream time….get tired of being perfect or having it all figured out….play, eat ice cream, notice everything…..

The gift of zaniness is one of the great gifts that human beings have. Men love zaniness, love to be in zaniness, love to watch zaniness. The stilts walker is zany. Yeats, defending zaniness, said: ‘Processions that lack high stilts have nothing that catches the eye.’ When Yeats goes on about that, we realize that certain rhetorical forms- usually considered literary- are really zany. The old Norse poets loved a zany rhetoric of the image. They refused to call the sea ‘sea,’ it is ‘the whale’s road.’ The wind is not ‘wind’- that’s too boring- it is ‘the wolf of the air.’ How stale and flat the day when nothing zany happens. How badly we need jokes: the old Sunday funnies; the comic strips and cartoons, the Dadaists, the stand-up comedians making silly faces. The spirit wants to leap with the joy of young kids to change direction in midair. It is as if the spirit at its freshest and freest is zany, offering no explanation of itself; its justification solely the delight of risk, a flip into nonsense at the same time inventing ideas, words, images, and postures- insane or zany? The zany poem in general has no message for professors, no moral for moralists to draw, it does not urge you to admire goodness or beauty. The zany poem and life is a testimony to the beauty of zaniness itself……R. Bly, J. Hillman, M. Meade

cherishing the sweet bliss of nothing-time

Once we believe in ourselves,

we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,

or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

…..e.e. cummings

6 thoughts on “those wacky, wild, whims of insight

  1. I’ll miss the smell of the exhaust of a Harley I am following on the highway, and the patterns the frost makes on my windshield, never the same. I’ll miss the hush of a new snowfall, how the white swallows sound.
    I love reading the ‘funnies’ on Sunday, they make the day special, I always admired comic artists …. Larsen, and Schultz, were Masters of zaniness, a little twist that makes us see that extra bit in our walk of life … Tiger Lilies at mid summer, and the smell of Autumn … May there be a whistle on the wind for you today …

    • I’ll miss the warm fur of my cat, the way the dawn always sneaks up on me, peeking through all the art journals I’ve made, that first moment of sinking feet into sand, summer thunderstorms, warm hands wrapped around a hot tea mug….it’s a sweet day g.f.s….

  2. O, Blue……..Immediately my mind went to work on what I would miss, but before long, I realized a bigger truth. I would miss it all – the spindly spider webs beneath kitchen cabinets, the crack at the edge of my back patio, the extra link in the porch swing, the lean of the trees in an evening storm. I’d miss the sound of my name and warmth of a fire on the first cool night. The dirty dishes, the junk mail, the traffic, and the ache that rarely has a place to go. I’d miss me and this…….. o yes, I’d miss this all. *sigh*

    • your list is so raw and real, it makes my heart ache…..reflecting on ‘missing’ is another way to open further, deeper, and with more clarity…..keep writing down your soul Bobbie….

  3. the,music and colors of Christmas, the anticipation, the focus on and awareness of each grand and great-grandchild’s unique personality that shopping for them brings, the delight when I find the just right presents, planning menus that include something special for each person, all the memories that our decorations bring, finding a really special Christmas card to send and writing notes to long ago friends I no longer see, my annual Christmas nervous breakdown when I stop and let go and am renewed by remembering what it is all about, then watching my husband work happily for days putting out his Christmas village, hiding cats, dogs, deer, and even a fox among the lighted buildings and snowy trees for the children to find, the excited rush of each child as they come in to find the elves that are hidden every year all over the house, the totally wild day the week before Christmas when grandchildren decorate the tree, make very creative cookies and messes (one was a large dragon last year), and when all thirty of us are finally crammed into our small house, I look around and think, we grew these people. This is the garden we will leave behind and they are already making the world a better place.

    • oh Eileen, this is so beautiful….a tribute to a full life of loving and caring for others….may you always hold life so close and so fearless….blessings to your family….

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