Pay Heed, Be Generous
I hit a wall last week, as one does. Regardless, good words found me. I really felt the need to be silent here and elsewhere, and I just listened to that. I took solace though in the way that good people were sharing good words and good things.
I liked this quotation by Dan Rather on Facebook: “Somewhere, amid the darkness, a painter measures a blank canvas, a poet tests a line aloud, a songwriter brings a melody into tune. Art inspires, provokes thought, reflects beauty and pain. I seek it out even more in these times. And in so doing, I find hope in the human spirit.”
In an essay on The Clearing, Kathleen Jamie said this:
“Paying heed to the natural world.
This is what I’d like to think. That the very act of paying attention, of noticing, becomes what Seamus Heaney, speaking of poetry, called a ‘redress’.
That attention weaves resistance. A web of attention-resistance.
What we subsequently do with that noticing, whether we transform it into poetry, art, science or activism comes a little later. But first, there must arise that primary act of attending. Happily, to do that we don’t need special skills, we just need to be human.”
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” This is Simone Weil.
My copy of The Essential Rumi is cracked open to the page with this on it:
Be grateful. Confess when you are not.”
And then, I came across the whole idea of Shine Theory, last week.
“I don’t shine if you don’t shine.”
— Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
On Twitter, someone shared this quotation by Louise Glück:
“Poetry survives because it haunts and it haunts, it is simultaneously clear and utterly mysterious, because it cannot be entirely accounted for, it cannot be exhausted,’”
So, if I’m getting this correct, the universe is telling me to be generous, pay heed, to be haunted by poetry, knowing it can’t be exhausted, even when I am. The universe is telling me to be human, and to help other humans be human.
We’re tired, but we’re still making art, in this house. I hope you are as well.