Monday, October 19, 2009

The POETRY of Retirement

Annamanila, in the blog that I quoted in my last post, defines poetry as the part of life that ennobles and recharges us. I like that definition. I also like Dylan Thomas' definition, which seems to have a broader application:
"Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing."
Although I'm not necessarily speaking of poetry such as poured from the pens of Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, e.e. Cummings or Emily Dickinson, the fact is that I do love to write. I have gone through periods in life when I wrote and read poetry with passion. I've also enjoyed forays into writing prose - magazine articles, essays and devotional thoughts. Recently, I've been neglecting my writing. I know that I am most successful at and fulfilled by writing when I am being challenged through a class or a group. In retirement I want to rekindle that ember through enrolling in some continuing ed classes or participating in a writers' group. Dan, also, loves to write, so with a common pursuit I see us being great sources of inspiration and encouragement to one another.

What else makes me "laugh or cry"? Reading, of course! Because I often let the urgent tasks crowd out the "poetry" in my life, my reading time is usually limited to a few minutes at the end of the day. I do love a good book! There are books that are so captivating that I dread turning the last page and leaving that world. In retirement maybe I will explore new genres by dipping my toe into biographies and reading more historical fiction. I've never participated in a book club, but maybe . . . just maybe . . . retirement will be a time to try that.

Often, as I'm crossing the Rio Grande on my way to work in the morning, I look down on it just as the sun is beginning to tint the trees with gold. The water, though it is typically a muddy brown in broad daylight, magically reflects the vivid blue of the sky at dawn . I daydream about being down on the riverbank, with my camera, capturing the moment. I hope I don't forget to make time for moments like that once I'm retired.

How can I end a discussion of life's poetry - the part of life that "makes my toenails twinkle" - without mentioning children? I don't know if I'll be able to teach my 2- and 3-year-old Bible class forever, since it is physically wearing on my knees, back and shoulders, even now. But, Lord, no matter how old I get, please let there always be children in my life.

Writing, reading, nature, photography and children - the parts of life that ennoble and recharge me; a little bit of poetry to grace my retirement years

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