Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution One

res·o·lu·tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] (noun) the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
It's that time of year (uh... the end, that is), and in addition to celebrating (followed by a period of decompressing from) the December holidays, folks are coming up with lists of favorites and New Year's resolutions. I, too, am jumping in with both feet as far as the whole resolution-thing goes. Like most I have both a few things I hope to accomplish throughout 2012--or even for the first few months of the new calendar year--and many more things I should do to be a better "fill-in-the-role-here." The simplest way for me to break down my resolutions so as to not end up with a gigantic to-do list is to break it into two or three parts, each intended to focus on and develop a seemingly different facet of myself--but in truth all contributing to my holistic well being. First up, a little something for my mind...

Finally found a place to post a pic of our Christmas Tree.
This morning as I was trolling through the National Public Radio website (a boundless source of inspiration, I might add), I came across the article A Poem A Day: Portable, Peaceful And Perfect by Alan Heathcock While Mr. Heathcock's resolution to "manage a minute or two for the words," is an excellent one, I'm just extending it a tiny bit further by setting forth my intention to write a poem a day. Let me clarify a little: by "a poem a day" I do NOT mean something on the scale of Dante's Inferno, but something more manageable like a smaller form (think haiku, senyru or tanka) each day. Also, "writing" seems too final a term for my tastes, so I'm more likely to be drafting or crafting a poem each day--this process in and of itself could take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. So there it is, Resolution 1: "I will write one poem a day."

But, things change.. While Resolution 1 is intended to help sharpen my thinking (brain), it might also help me in some other areas as well. This idea was further reinforced by an interview I recently came across on, Haiku Mind: An Interview With Clark Strand. In this interview, Strand equates the practice of writing haiku to meditation, "But haiku is very, very simple. In the same way that you make yourself very simple by following the breath. You clear your mind, let go of everything else. In the same way, writing haiku takes you right to the heart of the moment," evening defining it as a practice unto itself. Though I have at different point committed to varying degrees of meditative sitting, I like the idea (which is not really all that new) of using seemingly common activities and engaging them in a way that is at once meaningless and meaningful. So what was initially intended as a means of sharpening my thinking (mind) might also be of value in calming by spirit, a discipline that is always worth polishing.

After considering Strand's interview, I've slightly modified my resolution. The new and improved  Resolution 1 is: "I will embrace the practice of crafting one poem a day." In the interest of  getting into it, here is the haiku I wrote yesterday (whcih was actually "today" when I starte ddrafting this post:
Bags stuffed with write-offs:
relieved floor boards sigh, freed from

weight of useless things.
Now only 365 days to go!

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