While I was doing some silent reading and copying poetry today alongside the kids two quotes struck me as worthy of being copied into my commonplace book – a book of quotations and passages – and as I went about my tasks this afternoon I realized that they speak together. These two quotes converge and merge, dance and sing, work together to prod me forward. At least at this point in time and for the me that I am just now.
“There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.”
Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early
“You need to trust yourself, especially on a first draft, where amid the anxiety and self-doubt, there should be a real sense of your imagination and your memories walking and wool-gathering, tramping the hills, romping all over the place. Trust them. Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Reaching. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Not grasping at. But a deep body movement, like the shoulders do in downward-facing dog during yoga, a settling in and yet expanding out.