Summer ends for many in the U.S. A day doesn’t go by in These Times when we are not affected by the politics, climate change and the dominance of violence. Much of this has been converted into fuel for my new poems.
I include here the start of one of the poems. It was published in Fifth Wed. Journal: A Storm Upon us.
There is a lot of interest amongst activists and academics involved in social change about “self- care” so we don’t burn out. At 66 years of age I have learned the importance of taking breaks. We just spent a hot summer in the desert having luxurious rest (and I worked on poems,) Fresh air, quiet, sun–we also, however, make time for family and to see the ocean. I did a little reading, watching movies, and writing but I kept active outside, too. Keeping our endorphins and adrenalin flowing is critical to not getting down by overwhelming bad news and immediate concerns.
When you are in your 30s and 40s, between raising kids and caring for parents, ”escapes’ are hard to come by. But having gone through it myself, I know, nevertheless, how beneficial time-out from your ongoing responsibilities is. Writers, you may write on a hand device or carry a notebook. Our cell phones now double for great camera but record what you see not just selfies! All of this serves later, during semesters or long winters when you can’t get away from responsibilities.
In the last decade, I’ve taken up daily laps during summer (and winter get aways) but anyone who knows me knows I also work outdoors and am not afraid to pick up tools. Being in your head may be who you are, it be may tied to your identity and career but don’t forget to take care of the body that houses it. Supplements, keeping greens in your diet, staying away from sugars–it’s a practice that doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking or effort once you commit.
Final word this Monday a.m. on “self-care,” hatas gonna hate. Focus on the love in your life, the love you’ve generated by the love you give. It all comes back to you.
A Storm Upon Us (excerpt)
(In Memory of John Trudell, written upon the occasion of his crossing over.)
A storm is coming. It is on the horizon.
It has traveled far, fast, wide, and
taken much in tow, the storm
infused with lies and nitrogen. Water, air, ground—
infused, our fruit and animals infused,
our minds infused with lies and nitrogen. We’re dumb struck,
believe ourselves smart when we are, instead, confused.
The tricksters counted on our being caught unawares.
They knew of our selfishness, greed. And most of all, fears.
The storm approaches. (Can you hear it?