Today’s poem from the Writer’s Almanac, which I get in my inbox every day, sounds so much like me I just had to post it. You can hear Garrison Keillor reading it if you go here, plus see more interesting facts about today’s date in literary history.
Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass—
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?
What treasure do I expect in my future?
Rather it is the confusion of childhood
loping behind me, the chaos in the mind,
the failure chipping away at each success.
Glancing over my shoulder I see its shape
and so move forward, as someone in the woods
at night might hear the sound of approaching feet
and stop to listen; then, instead of silence
he hears some creature trying to be silent.
What else can he do but run? Rushing blindly
down the path, stumbling, struck in the face by sticks;
the other ever closer, yet not really
hurrying or out of breath, teasing its kill.
"Pursuit" by Stephen Dobyns, from Cemetery Nights. © Penguin Books, 1987. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
I know my life is crazy right now, but I need to take more time to enjoy what I’m doing at each moment and focus on the positive in things that happen during the day. I had a meltdown last week from stress, and I think if I had been focusing more on the positive (and getting more sleep!) I would not have lost it the way I did. Focusing always on the next thing steals my joy in the things I have accomplished and keeps me mentally frantic. I think that should be one of my HealthMonth goals for next month — to be more mindful of the moment in which I find myself and also of my successes and joys.