"Poetry"

This  summer  during  my  sabbatical,  I  had  the  pleasure  of attending  the  Robert Frost Poetry  Conference  in  Derby,  New Hampshire.  It  was  held  on  the  farm  that Robert  Frost and  his family lived on  for  many  years. It  was a  wonderful experience with   workshops,   poets   sharing   their   work   and   time   for individual critiques with the poets in residence. It was thrilling, scary,  challenging  and  helpful  all  at  once.  I can’t  wait  to  go again next year.

The  last  day  of  the  conference  I  had  to  check  out  of  my  hotel before heading over to the farm. As I was taking my things out to  my  car,  I  was  pulling  my  suitcase backwards down  some steps.  Not  my  brightest  moment.  And  it  seemed  even less  so several seconds later  when  I  found  myself  falling  off  the concrete steps and on to the asphalt parking lot.

As  I  lay  there  taking  stock  and  making  sure  no  bones  were broken, I heard a voice. No, not God, but an elderly gentleman from  my  poetry  conference  who  had  told  us all  he was in  his 90’s. He said, “I saw you fall. Are you ok?” I told him I was but didn’t think I  was up to writing poetry. He replied  with a grin, “Nonsense!  Write  a  poem about  your  fall!”  I  grinned back  at him,  then  he  gave  a  wave  and  got  in  his  car to head  to  the conference.

I have thought a lot about his wise words since then. I did head back  to  the  conference but didn’t  write  a  poem  about  my  fall. Maybe someday. What I loved about his words was his way of looking at what happened. Don’t hang on to being upset, turn it to something  creative. Make  poetry  out  of  it.  Take a  fall  and make it something else.

Too many times in life there is a temptation to hold onto a hurt or  wrong  or  unkind word.  To sit  and  dwell.  Perhaps instead  it should  spur  us  to  action.  To  be  creative. Maybe  this means forgiving  or  reconciling  or  seeking  understanding. Maybe  it means letting  it  go and  using  the  energy  to  help  or  encourage others.

The best part is that we don’t have to attempt this on our own. God will help us, inspire us. Give us the energy to try and see it through.  It  may  not  be  easy.  There  may  be  a few aches  and pains. But in the end we may be glad we wrote a poem with our lives.

Peace, Joy