On Being Still Enough

There is enough time, there is enough money has been my mantra of late. Here a poem about enoughness :)


On Being Still Enough

My busy professor
said she missed her youth when she could let
the muse have her way with her.
Sometimes creation asks for
weeks, months, years,
or a lifetime, like from the poet e.e. cummings
who lived in a small studio and paid
minimal rent so he could write and paint.
But sometimes creation asks you
to become an insurance salesman
or teach others how to congeal inspiration.

I cannot tell you what I did with two decades,
there were lots of little people that needed me
to birth and nurse and rock and soothe them.
I had a camera that required real film,
from the photo store I’d pick up four by six prints,
stuffed in envelopes fat as sausages.
I collected fabric remnants for quilting
yet didn’t quilt.
Fat quarters they were called,
handkerchief size worlds I washed and ironed.
I miss ironing napkins,
life fell into place when crumbled squares
were so easily ordered.

I like to cook after working all day,
there is an exchange beyond
fire and steel, oil and heat,
flesh and flower.
Sometimes it is only quesadillas
but I might brown the chicken first.
In my spice drawer there is Everyday Seasoning,
whole chunks of spices,
aromatized with a simple twist of the wrist.
It is from the grocer Trader Joe’s,
Trader Joe’s was started in Monrovia, California,
the mixture is a product of South Africa.

Such a distance to my home in Washington state, America
for sea salt and mustard seeds, black peppercorns,
coriander, onion, garlic, paprika and chili pepper to travel.
It feels important to list the ingredients.
I only noticed when I had an unsubscribed hour
and found myself ordering the spice drawer.
There is so much wisdom on the little spice bottle,
a whole philosophy of living
bookshelves of self help tried to teach me.

Always replace cap!
Enhance with added zing!
Use it everyday on everything!
(and my favorite)
Avoid grinding over steaming pots!
(exclamations added).
This poem began with wanting enough,
enough quiet, spaciousness
enough noticing,
enough time for illuminating
and preserving,
enough understanding
and puzzling,
enough praising, ultimately.