You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.
But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?
You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
– Linda Pasten, Insomnia, 2015 –
While this poem takes place in a different season, when dew “baptizes every living surface,” its subject – making the morning coffee and living each day fully as the first – and the collection title – Insomnia – strike chords making music fitting for this near mid January morn. Awake at 3:30 (this becoming a too frequent occurrence that left unchecked can leave me feeling brittle) I look out the window and notice in the night before dawn a luminescence from dew frosting every living and non living surface. Humidity has been over 90% these days, unusual for what we here on the prairies brag is a dry cold, supposedly feeling less cold. I turn up the thermostat, fill the kettle and let it boil while I take my seat in the dark living room to try to silence “the small roar of a mind trying to clear itself.” None too successfully at first. But the non-effort effort eventually shifts something inside, so that when I rub my eyes open and gaze again outside, unnamed anxiety gives way to nuanced astonishment.
Once again, it’s apparent to me that the stuff of my wabi sabi life is swirling inside, needing its time to sort and settle. After my new year’s post wherein I realized – the result of another episode of early morning insomnia – that I simply didn’t know much about how I stood on this threshold, I didn’t post my Monday blog last week, and am not inclined to push myself to produce one for this Monday, or beyond. For the time being, it’s my own inner “imaginary conversation” to which I will pay my attention, not yet to be mined for here.
I rest easier knowing I’m not one to procrastinate, but rather am becoming more familiar, in an embodied way, with living in the messy inchoate middle. That place I have named “before, beneath and beyond words.” That place where I become a conscious partner engaged with Life living itself.
Much love and kindest regards, dear friends.