Questions (and a little request/challenge)

Okay, so I have something a little different to share with you today.  It seems like it’s two poems, but really it’s two poems that lead to a little challenge that I hope you’ll help me out with.  The poems are very different from each other, but are both about questions.  For this poem, please note especially verse #7 and onward.

Sometimes

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

David Whyte, Everything is Waiting for You 

And here is another poem (and one  I like better) about questions!  This poem is more human somehow, or more everyday, more tangible.  It respects the fact that we all have questions, respects them enough to write about them, but puts them in the context of something quite ordinary–washing the floors.  See what you think, and then see below for my challenge/request to you.

 

Questions in the Mind of a Young Poet as She Washes Her Floors

 Will obedience leave me alone to myself, stranded?

Is it enough for me to know where I’m from?

If I do more truth-telling will I be happy with what I say?

If I had three days to live will I still be sensible?

Is the break between my feelings and my memory
the reason I’m unable to sustain rage?

Am I a peninsula slowly turning into an island?

If I grew up gazing at the ocean would I think
life came in waves?

If I were a nomad would I measure time
by the length of a footstep?

If I can see a cup drop to the floor and shatter
why can’t I see it gather itself back together?

If a surgeon cut out my mistakes
would the scar be under my heart?

How much time will I spend protecting myself
from what the people I love call love?

Would my desires feel different if I lived forever?

Will my desires destroy my politics?

Is taboo sex the ultimate aphrodisiac? 

If I fall in love with the wrong person
how do I learn to un-in love myself?

Can I make my intuition a diving rod?

Is music the closest I can get to God? 

How many of these questions will remain
when I kneel to wash my floor again?

Elena Georgiou

What I’m hoping is that each of you will send me your craziest, wildest, most pressing, most confusing, etc., questions about your lives.  They DO NOT have to be “smart” or any unhelpful judgment like that.  They can be ANYTHING!  You can do it! 

You can send the anonymously to me at: lesliesrajek@gmail.com.  And in response, I will make this question the subject of my next post (again, anonymously of course).

Thank you and love, love, love!

10 Comments

Filed under advent, poetry

10 responses to “Questions (and a little request/challenge)

  1. LCS on behalf of Anonymous

    Will I ever feel I am truly loved by someone completely?
    When will I know what I am supposed to do?
    Will I ever stop worrying?
    Will I ever be good enough?

    Like

  2. 1. Should I start a family by myself? (specifically, as a first attempt, should I have a baby?) I know I want this, but it is incredibly intimidating and a major identity shift, so a lot of work has gone into that. I’m now feeling ready to parent, I’ve got all the tests and consultations from doctors out of the way, but still on the fence about doing it solo.

    2. If so, where do we belong? (geographically, as in which coast… but also what sort of community do I want for us. I literally do not know where I belong at this point. I feel frightened at bringing another human into that discomfort.)

    3. Now that my business has closed up, what job/career move is next, and can that job support the needs of a single mom? (and should that job be much, much closer to family in order to develop a support system)

    Like

  3. Why are the mundane activities of life things I rush through without cherishing, while, in retrospect, they end up being the things I value and miss the most when those moments are in the past?

    Like

  4. Since it is known that women generally have good access to both brain hemispheres, (left=concrete, judgmental/right=wholistic, intuitive)
    while men largely function with only left brain capacities, how is it, that for centuries, women have allowed themselves and the world to be dominated
    by the half-brained of the species?

    Like

  5. Do I even *want* to be happy?

    Why can’t I name this thing that is missing?

    Like

  6. I feel like the bird in the golden cage. Life is good, many would give their right arms for it, but the cage remains.
    Practical thoughts says that billions around the world have to face up to earning a living rather than pursuing talents and dreams. so get used to it…Heart says .. is this it?
    In spite of having a partner who loves me, I don’t think they really get how deeply I feel about the change, I want in my life no matter how much we talk about it, am I being unreasonable or is my partner just choosing not to see this because he likes life to much as it is?

    So My question would probably be something like:

    Is it selfish to yearn after the impossibility/impracticably of fulfilling your own dreams because you are responsible for supporting the dreams of others who rely on you? And how do you reconcile yourself to that without heartbreak and regret?

    Like

  7. Is it safer to live in NYC (with its terrorism threats) or San Francisco (with its earthquake threats)?

    What’s my body’s threshold for weight gain before it just explodes into a million pieces?

    Do we have any kind of awareness after we die?

    How would my life have been different if I’d changed my last name when I got married (if at all)?

    Like

  8. In response to your post today, my craziest, wildest, most pressing, and indeed most confusing question is: What is the purpose of my life at THIS particular point in my life? I’ve been a mother for 19 years (and always will be, just not needed so much now), wife, daughter, employee, friend, aunt, great aunt, but what is my purpose? What am I meant to do now?

    Like

  9. Dianne

    My question is: What should I do with my “old” journals? I have been asking this of many people lately, trying to get their perspective. I came across a box of my old journals – there are about 12 years worth. I read through them: I laughed, I cried. There were times of extreme highs and extreme lows. Reading them made me feel depressed for the young girl but also grateful for the person I am today. The challenges and struggles have shaped my life. So I wonder: If I were to die tomorrow, would I want my husband, daughters to read these? I am really at a loss on what to do. Do I read them once again and then destroy them? Or do I keep them in the box to be reopened and reread time and again?

    Like

  10. Colleen Crowley

    Paul McCartney once sang, “Once there was a way to get back home …”
    Is there a way to get back home?”
    When will I settle down into a peace filled life with a strong sense of home again and a job that is more than a “job” but feels like a vocation? I believe that owning a laundromat would make me happy and I take small steps toward that goal, but will it?
    I live in a nice home with a good man with whom i am happy but I do not feel like I am quite “home” again nor quite arrived. Things feel on “hold’ and yet I know that as John Lennon once sang, “Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.’ I wish that I could loose this gypsy, transient sensation, a feeling of always on the road and not quite settled.
    Again, “Once there was a way to get back home …” as Paul sang. The older one gets, the more one looses and then,”…is there a way back home?”

    Like

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