Beginner's Heart

via google

via google

Today, despite my many gifts, blessings, my happy life, et al., I was feeling a tad sorry for myself. Nothing major, I assure you. Just moving blues.

I’ve spent years establishing myself in my hometown as a writer, a credible writing resource. Someone who doesn’t just talk the talk, but who works to publish, who reads the research, a ‘real’ writer.

And now I’m leaving.

Here, I work with the board of the oldest continuously published literary journal in the country: Nimrod Journal. I’ve been part of the Nimrod family for decades (really). Here, I’ve worked w/ our state Humanities Council — some of the nicest, most passionate humanities advocates you could ask for. Here, I’m part of the state Arts Institute writing advisory panel, helping select the writers who offer workshops each summer to 9-12 students, and in the fall to teachers.

It’s hard to leave that, and realistically? I can’t duplicate it elsewhere.

Will I still be involved with writing, the arts, the humanities? I imagine so — in fact, I can’t imagine these  passions NOT being part of my life. But it will be different, and as I clear my summer to ready for this big move, I’m receiving farewells from people I admire, respect, and who are often dear friends.

via wikimedia

via wikimedia

NOT easy. And yes, I know I’m gaining proximity to my beloved grandson, time w/ my wonderful son & DIL, and a new adventure. It’s still a door closing.

The Quakers have a saying: way closes, way opens. It’s aversion of the Christian saying God never closes a door but he opens a window. I like the poetics of the Quaker saying better — it’s succinct, yet hopeful. I like the haiku quality of it, as well ~ the promise of a new way through/ to/ even away.

And sure ’nuff: as I sat here feeling a little sad for the closing of this incredibly wonderful chapter of writing, teaching, words & friends, a way opened.

Last year I signed up — on a whim — for a ‘poetry marathon.’ Confession: I only did the half-marathon, 12 poems in 12 hours. The hard-core did the entire marathon: 24 poems in 24 hours!! But the marathon left me with not only 12 new poems (1/3 of which were actually pretty good!): it also introduced me to the people behind the marathon, and several new friends who did the marathon at the same time.

This year? They asked me to help out! And I can’t tell you how glad I am! In case you’re interested, you have TODAY ONLY (June 6th) to sign up: The Poetry Marathon website will give you all the info you need. Like me, you may not have a life where you can commit 24 hours (or — also like me! — you may not want to sacrifice a night of sleep!). So go for the half-marathon!

via pixabay

via pixabay

The point to this is that my beginner’s heart is comforted by knowing that nothing is more certain than the uncertainty of change. No, I will not teach my adored workshop in the continuing education program of my alma mater this fall. And I won’t go to the board meeting for the Humanities Council, or hear what the Holocaust Education Committee is doing. When the fall workshops for Nimrod roll around, I won’t be here to help w/ transportation. I won’t even be here to attend!

But there will be new opportunities, and I actually believe that now. Because today? There was. And who really knows what will happen tomorrow? If you do only what’s safe — what’s known — you’ll never have adventures, right? And surely the unease of not knowing what’s next is offset by the happy surprise of what turns up! Juuuust beyond that open way…


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