(240) Break from Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life

Whew.

It has been a whirlwind this week. Starting classes, getting to know my students, giving up a planning period to help a colleague out, trying to keep everything straight, dealing with all kinds of new initiatives and requirements at school, and keeping up with this blog…

Whew.

So, today I decided to take a little break from the Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. The feedback has been tremendous, and I thank you all. I find I have many stories to tell, even one about being a storyteller. I am hoping to use this weekend to catch up on those.

Meanwhile, I was inspired this week by a poem called “Mystic” by D. H. Lawrence. I immediately used it as a mentor poem and wrote my own version. Something about this poem made me feel alive and I had to respond immediately. Not only that, I am having my 8th grade students write one as well. They took a survey of the multiple intelligences this week, and then I put them in groups according to those who had “like” intelligences. They are writing a version of “Mystic” that reflects their collective intelligence. I hope to post a couple of those tomorrow, and will resume Encyclopedia on Sunday.

Here is the the mentor poem by D. H. Lawrence directly off “A Year of Being Here” website:

They call all experience of the senses mystic, when the
       experience is considered.
So an apple becomes mystic when I taste in it
the summer and the snows, the wild welter of earth
and the insistence of the sun.

All of which things I can surely taste in a good apple.
Though some apples taste preponderantly of water, wet and sour
and some of too much sun, brackish sweet
like lagoon-water, that has been too much sunned.

If I say I taste these things in an apple, I am called mystic, which
       means a liar.
The only way to eat an apple is to hog it down like a pig
and taste nothing
that is real.

But if I eat an apple, I like to eat it with all my senses awake.
Hogging it down like a pig I call the feeding of corpses.

*

Here is my version:

Mystic

By Helen Sadler

They call all experience of the arts mystic, when the

experience is considered.

So my writing becomes mystic with rhythms and sounds,

the deepening darkness of the journal, the brightness

of a poem.

All of which things I can do as a writer.

Though some days the act of writing is preponderantly agonizing, sour and

empty, bleak and blurry, too much to think about

like the dry parched desert in a summer of no rain.

If I feel this way about writing, I am called mystic, which means

a wannabe.

The only way to write is to charge into it,

question nothing,

That is real.

But if I write from the place of no thought, my senses awake.

Scribbling down like a child I call the muses to my side.

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