Wednesday, October 15, 2014

your obligation, your joy (and don't be so earnest)

"A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked."

- Anais Nin

Joy in everything, joy in the task of writing. Joy in waking at 4am. As I have this morning. (Not rising until 5, though).  

And the reminder, I needed, below: don't be so earnest. 

"Your obligation is not discharged by any common rite. What you must do is done on your own so get back in harness. The main thing is to write for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust that imagines its haven like your hands at night dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast. You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous. Take off from here. And don't be so earnest...."

- Seamus Heaney {source}

"We go on to poetry; we go on to life. And life is, I am sure, made of poetry. Poetry is not alien—poetry is, as we shall see, lurking round the corner. It may spring on us at any moment."

- Jorge Luis Borges

"But now it’s 4 a.m. already
and like a snow-flake’s touch
shiver-cold and quiet.

                         Did someone cry out?
I heard someone cry out.
                         No-one cried out.

I woke up dreaming 

                         I was wide-awake."

- from "Ask the Moon" by Dannie Abse found on Poetry International 

Wishing you some moments of calm, some moments of joy today. May poetry spring on you when least expected....


  1. I love your Buddha all covered in leaves, sitting there so beautiful and calm. I too woke up early this morning..4:30. It was lovely and quiet, just me and the moon but as it approaches noon, I'm quickly fading. It will certainly be a calm day for me.

  2. If I had to choose one and only one blog to read, it would most certainly and always be yours Shawna. It contains such abundance; and you are generous beyond belief, sharing so much within such a small space, not to mention doing it every day!!! What a spectacularly gifted multifaceted gem of a woman you are! I am so thankful for you and your blog. (Edna from Tx.)

  3. What a thought to begin the day - life is made of poetry - I like that. However, Heaney's line "your obligation is not to be discharged by any common rite" will keep me thinking well into the thick of things and hopefully beyond. Thanks so much for sharing :) xo

  4. You're all wonderful, thank you. I have the nicest readers.


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