The Poetry of Life

I have definitely had and still have a ‘dreamy’, romantic, idealized, lofty view and approach that has supported, nourished, and motivated me most of my near 70 years.

A vision and preference for what used to be called ‘finer things’. No doubt much of this lifelong quest had much to do with context, timing, and opportunity. I was relatively free in my childhood, youth, and university years. I was an only child with few constraints on my imagination, fun, and choices. But I was lucky enough, along the way, to become a reader, a thinker, a writer, a lover of music, a musician, a teacher, and a poet.

The latter was a long self-actualization of my personal, moral, and aesthetic values. It crystallized and confirmed that I was mostly about ideas, creativity, and performing, thanks to reading, writing, teaching, higher education (olde-styled university education). A lot of my days would be spent in the company of Truth, Beauty, and, yes, Love. There are volumes I could say and write about those three companions and ruling passions.

Nature was often another companion, appealing to soul and spirit. I have returned to it of late, even in my immediate surroundings, solo walks, and trips to places like the Rockies, Radium, Butchart Gardens in the spring, New England in the fall, the Arizona desert in January and, strangely enough, the U of A on weekend mornings. Like my late mother, I have become a flower gardener, and I remain interested in birds, animals, weather, and the wild.

Family has also helped ground this free-spirited individual and given me more empathy and insight into all of our essential Inner Childness. We are marked for life in childhood as I have indicated above and we must needs give our Inner Child periodic (and for me maximal) play throughout adulthood and later years. This process is basic to remaining free and happy. “All work and no play makes Dick a dull man.”

In the end, we must all learn to let go, accept ourselves and others, and that the world is in other hands. In that necessary process, there is peace, more freedom, and what Keats called “Negative capability” — an acceptance of whatever unresolved contraries without the olde lifelong restlessness, frustrations, struggles, and discontentments.

“We’ll climb that hill no matter how steep when we get up to it.”

–Bob Dylan, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

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