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    What Would You Do in the Last Hour?





    In 1922, novelist Marcel Proust answered this question:

     

    "If this prediction were confirmed [the world will end and that death will be the certain fate of hundreds of millions of people], what do you think would be its effects on people between the time when they acquired the aforementioned certainty and the moment of cataclysm? Finally, as far as you’re concerned, what would you do in this last hour?"

     

    In this way:


    "I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

    But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

    The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening."

     

    To further emphasize the immaculateness of his answer, let  Alan Rickman read it to you…

     

    So. Are you living today as if it were your last day?



    Posted: May 30 2013, 23:16 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Castle Building | Writing

    WPPW (Week 5): Enjoy





    I've so enjoyed the experience of writing poetry over the last five weeks; it's hard to believe the month of April has gone already! This week brought so many experiences and changes to our lives - overwhelming at times, and yet, I still found the time to sit and write; I think that says something good about poetry. Having not written poetry before, I found it challenging and frustrating, and yet - satisfying in its simplicity, and so I hope to continue - even without the gentle push of a weekly goal. Thank you Lauren for hosting, and thank you - anyone - for reading along.

     

    This week's poetry theme was Enjoy. As there is nothing I so enjoy as time outdoors with my children, it seemed only natural that experience would inspire my final week's poem.

    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop


    Gardening  

     

    Afternoon Spring sun warms our shoulders as we crouch, hunched over our hardened-off sprouts.

    Searching for the heartiest amidst curved shoots, wilted leaves; small fingers examining each stem, you are engrossed.

    A swallow - darting,  just inches from the sun-warmed top of your head; you are undeterred.

    This one looks strong.

    And I agree. I haven't taught you this; selection is innate.

    Each one you gently separate, place, settle down into fertile soil.

    Dirt in your hair, fingernails, in the scrapes on your knees.

    And wonder in your eyes - perhaps imagining a future filled with fruit and vegetables.    

    Until - suddenly - concern crosses your countenance, interrupting your calm:  

    The water is knocking him over.

    It's okay, I say, Time will make him stronger.

    You nod, returning to your work.

    The swallow darts again, and we smile.


     

    Posted: May 05 2013, 17:25 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    WPPW (Week 4): Trust





    There were many inspiring prompts this week, but life got in the way of writing a bit, as life is wont to do. I felt the strongest spark from "Why: What big questions from your children have you been terrified and privileged to answer?" as I find so many of the questions my children ask to be formidable to answer - less in the mechanics of answering and more so in the self-examination they command. And so, this week's Parenting Poetry Workshop entry:

    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop

    Teaching

     

    Knowing more than we see

    You sense before you have words to tell us

    Feelings

    Intentions

    I struggle to define death yet you already understand

    In the young speech you have, explaining more than I've described

    I am humbled, struck  by your awareness

    Otherworldly

     

    Makes me wonder how much I am teaching you

    When really - should you be teaching me?

     

    Posted: Apr 27 2013, 12:11 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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    WPPW (Week 3): Hope





    This week's poetry theme was Hope. As in: what you hope for as your child grows; what you hope for yourself as a parent. I found this week particularly challenging; though… I'm not certain whether it stemmed more from the theme or from the newness of the poetry medium. It's a struggle to go from, say, the gentle stream of writing dialog, to the push-pull abruptness of poetry. Poems seem to come tearing out; then screech to a sudden stop; whereas writing is more of a tidal flow. An oil painting vs. a charcoal gesture sketch. Facebook vs. Twitter. Oh, I didn't just make that comparison. Strike that. I hope in spite of poor analogies, I hope you still enjoy. ;)


    This poem was written as part of Lauren Wayne's Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop for the month of April.
    My entry from last week. And the week before.
    Please join in!

    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop

     

    Hope


    What I hope for you:

    Freedom

    Space to breathe, create - yourself

    Unbound by guilt, expectations

    Defined Only

    By your own crafted moments and experiences

    Confidence

     

    And for myself also:

    Freedom

    From the rough edges of my own childhood

    Release from regret and

    Fears of mistakes not yet realized

    Fortitude


    WPPW (Week 2): Birth





    Throughout April, I'm taking part in Lauren Wayne's Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop. This week's theme is "Emerge", and within this theme, the first prompt: "Labor: Each minute in labor is suspended animation. Describe your labor in a poem." Last week's poem's theme was "Prepare".

    Please do join me in writing! (Obviously) you don't need to be a poet to participate; you need only have a bit of courage to put words to paper (and then hit publish.) :)


    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop

    Birth

     

    The stream hit my back and time stopped. Suddenly the pain - deep, endless, unforgiving - abated. No longer knocked sideways off my feet with each backstabbing impact, I rocked on the stool, riding the waves. Alone with the water, despite a periodic invading scope, I was alone --- with your heartbeat. My hope.

    I was unafraid.

    Hours? Blissful.

    Then, too soon, I was torn out of my own watery womb and back into the bright lights. Pain like an abyss. And the accursed beeping.

    And hands and eyes and words: asking, prodding, suggestions thrown; but I'm mute.

    Fear crept in nauseating swells up my neck and belly. Fast friends with hurt.

    Hours pass. Fretful.

    Fear: a stealthy, strong enemy. And doubt.

    "You can't do this," doubt whispers with malice, climbing wretchedly up my arm to rest - cold - on my shoulder.

    I agree, I succumb, and I go under screaming.

    And still the beeping - terrifying, reassuring; my connection to you, my baby. Arresting sleep, yet keeping me from panic. I drift.

    The tears, my pain, and I lie legless, helpless.

    Numb.

    Oh blessed curse, painkiller. Physical agony gone briefly, I'm weakened by sickening gratitude.

    Pain usurped by guilt.

    This wasn't in the plan.

    And yet still you came to me, from me, through me. Oh perfect baby, wrenched from my pelvis where you'd wedged yourself.

    Birthed through a clean slice, vibrantly belting out your disapproval, voice urgent: I AM HERE!

    Your immense strength nourished my own.

    My daughter, my heart; you made me a mother.