None of this is to say that I don’t like songs. I love songs; I love writing them and I love listening to them. There is something that is useful and safe about songs. In most settings where I am playing with a band, they are the expected norm. Which is why it has felt so daunting, so very useless, to be working on a piece for solo cello and voice; so unnecessary to be writing poetry. Yet I find myself spending more and more time every day doing just these things. I've discovered that this freedom in creativity is a basic necessity for me in order to keep doing what I do. It is the balance of writing for an obvious purpose vs. writing for a less obvious one. I have no idea in which direction either will take me, only that I must continue moving in order to keep all the doors open.
So in the spirit of this post and the breathtaking freshness of autumn, I am going to take a giant risk and post a poem I wrote. I am aching to put a disclaimer here — about how I’m not a poet, that it definitely needs more editing, but I’m going to do the brave thing, reader, and just tell you this: that I was inspired to write it while on a walk by Jamaica Pond a few days ago, during which I realized that I am in charge of the shape of my time, the pieces that make up my days and not the other way around. I hope you enjoy it.
We are the sculptors of our days.
Take a corner, here:
Mold it into a cup of tea
Cozied in the cradle of our palms.
Slice through it with wire.
Turn it into smaller pieces. Shape one into
Our footsteps on the forest floor,
The canopy above
Woven through with flame.
Carve another. Chip away slowly
For this block of clay is our work,
Our pure thread of focus,
The heat of
Dignity. We'll dip our fingers in water if we need to.
That’s how the cracks get sealed.
Later, with our wheel and our ribbon tool, when the sky is pink,
We arrive like midwives
At the gentle
Birth of dinner, where, only moments before there was flour and yeast,
There is bread.
— A. F.