This poem materialized in response to W. B. Yeats describing an aging man – startled me coming forth – had fun creating the collage (grinning from the label of my preferred wine). Perhaps the combination of aging perspectives will trigger your own self-portrait?
It’s Never Too Late – By W. B. Yeats
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
a tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.
April 6, 2021. This poem keeps teasing me to “do something” – perhaps posting it will stimulate clarity. It’s a product of a rich writing session with Ali Grimshaw (flashlight batteries – Ali Grimshaw) back in March – triggered by the Kim Stafford poem Ali shared and by group energies – then reinforced a couple of days later reading this quote from Pablo Casals: “It takes courage to listen to your own goodness and act on it. Do we dare to be ourselves?”
I’ll dare to share my angst with growing tensions in my state, in my country. I see no clear path toward meeting in the middle, given so many choose “loyalty to cause” over any tiny concession. But I can smile at those standing in line for vaccinations, neighbors in their front yards, people in the grocery store – not knowing which side they are on but recognizing we are all in the same mess. A wild card is an unknown or unpredictable factor influencing outcome. I can hope some good ones come into play. I can hope I recognize chances to be a wild card in personal encounters. And I can embrace inner wild card appearances that nurture my own understanding.
Image is my 2021 focus mandala (addendum to 2020 Uncertainty mandala).
March 20, 2021. For Spring Equinox, I received the prompt “I remember” and immediately connected to the honeysuckle out back, remembering how to re-leaf after our rare (and disastrous) Arctic blast three weeks ago. The storm arrived after the honeysuckle had put out abundant blooms. We feared more than those blooms were wasted – that we might have to prune the honeysuckle down to the ground, that branches too could well be dead. The sight of honeysuckle covered in lifeless blah-brown leaves was very disheartening. But within a week, tiny green leaves began to push the brown ones off branches. Hoorah! Now only a few brown leaves remain, with green ones out to the tips of each branch. Plus new blossoms!
The image is a collage of a single 2nd-round blossom over backdrop of ice-over leaves and 1st-round blossoms. (I took no photos of the blah-brown mass.)
April 7, 2019. No, nothing to do with martial arts!
One week into Poetry Month, and under the influence of an evocative SoulCollage® group session yesterday, I take my stand – as poet, yes, but not just poet – as creative human giving creativity space, attention, support to flourish.
A word about SoulCollage® – a Jungian therapy process developed by Seena Frost – I’ve been practicing this since 2007. It’s something you DO as opposed to read about, but if curious, go here: https://www.soulcollage.com/
This image is a collage for four SoulCollage cards created yesterday. Image details were clipped from calendar/magazine pages and pieced together intuitively. Each of the four cards (5×8″) can be “read” – imagery speaking to whatever inside me chose and arranged the pieces. Collectively, they delivered this poem.
January 18, 2018. Tuesday Austin Texas shut down due to iced roadways – schools, government offices, many businesses sent out alerts the night before: please stay off the roadways. This happens once every year or so, usually for one day. In colder places, cities take remedial action and keep roadways open. Here, we get a day off (except schools must take away a planned free day later in the calendar.)
I slept in, waking to the lure of chicken soup simmering, gave the day’s opportunity a few select thoughts, and pulled out a jigsaw puzzle. Not just any puzzle – I chose the greenhouse scene, plants thriving while “shut in” – like me. The collage hopefully conveys my sense of being in the greenhouse while working the puzzle.
April 20, 2017. Sharing my morning meander through the yard … and my subsequent indulgence in creating this collage from the morning’s bright spots. April is indeed a beautiful time of the year in central Texas, well worth visual “souvenirs”.
January 22, 2017. Each year (for seven years now) I concentrate in Nov/Dec on connections, intentions, directions for the coming calendar year. I do this in a group led by Janet Conner (janetconner.com) tagged “The Lotus and the Lily”. Janet’s book by that title shows one of my earlier mandalas. A multi-step process, each year revealing more. The mandala changes year to year, evolving to reflect both my growth and changing surrounding influences. Initially termed intention mandalas, Janet now calls them invitation mandalas; I consider mine a contract with Spirit.
True to my SoulCollage(R) training, I rely primarily on imagery. I won’t try to explain all the symbols here! Just a little about the structure:
Background, a foot bridge into foggy unfamiliar territory: this is specific to 2017 US upheaval (beyond my control) – I will Step Forward across that bridge into the fog.
At center, a spiral “antenna” for receiving
Moving outward, my four commitments: observe, create, trust, accept
Moving outward, my four challenges: the Toltec Four Agreements
Moving outward, areas I rely on Spirit to help me sustain: harmony, resilience, open-heart hearing, sufficient resources … PLUS … acknowledgement that I need Spirit’s help in ways I cannot fathom: represented by golden footsteps