Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Progress of Resolutions....

It is January 6th - a little less than one week after the euphoria of New Year's Day - the day when the future is bright and all things are possible.  Typically I have abandoned most resolutions at this point because I realize that my expectations were totally unrealistic and rather than persevere I find it easier to say "next year"

It is not that this year is necessarily different.  I have not made good on several of the resolutions, but I have attempted many and I refuse to give up. While I have yet to develop an exercise routine (although I have at least watched the videos), I have had daily devotions.  And while I have not developed a daily writing routine, I have journaled about the insights received from those devotions.  Baby steps --- I must keep reminding myself of the importance of baby steps.

While I continue to struggle to find the time - or the desire - to read a novel, I have actually taken baby steps towards completing two reading challenges that I did not join:  Fearless Poetry Exploration and Wendell Barry's Reading Challenge.  I went to the library today and picked up the book The Collected Poems of Wendell Barry, a book recommended by my sister-in-law who claims to have been as intimated by poetry as I am - until she read this book.  I decided to just allow the book to open where it may and read a selection from that page.  Here is what I found:

A Warning to My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies.  That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.

I consider this a warning to my own readers.  Somehow this author, who is totally unfamiliar to me as I am to him, has captured the essence of my being.  Perhaps this is what poetry is all about.  Finding ourselves in the words of others.


  1. Great post, Molly! As you know, I'm not much of a poetry fan either, but I have to admit, that's a wonderful poem!

  2. Baby steps are definitely important. My motto is one day at a time and try to do a little better the next day. I like the excerpt you found.

  3. Oh, I love this, Molly! And that's a great approach to the Collected Poems - wonderful how he introduced himself to you:) Hope you continue to enjoy!

  4. That really grabbed me as well, Molly. I like the idea of just letting a book of poems open where it will. I always find that reading a poem aloud is the best way to enjoy it. Of course, sipping coffee at the local Starbucks and reading poetry aloud makes one seem a bit odd, doesn't it? Oh well . . .

    I like your attitude about your resolves. Day by day. Enjoy this one.

  5. It sounds like I should try some of Wendell Barry's poetry, since I'm intimidated by poetry as well.

  6. This is great - and I love that poem! Is there another way to read a poetry collection? Although I'm just a beginner, the 'open where it may method' seems to work for me, too.

  7. Baby steps are definitely the way to keep you on the road to accomplishing your goals. Good luck with them Molly.

  8. I think "baby steps" actually = progress, so keep the positive outlook. Making time for daily devotions helps keep everything else in proportion, so it's great that you have made that a priority.

    I love poetry, but am also a bit intimidated. Love the Barry poem - a beautiful description of most writers.

  9. Baby steps...the right way to start!!

  10. I like that - "Finding ourselves in the words of others." I think that is what writing is about in general, but especially poetry.

    I am intimidated by poetry too by the way, so I don't read it often.

  11. I was never a fan of poetry in school, but this one somehow speaks to me. Thanks for sharing Molly, and thank you for the sweet comments and prayers for my SIL.

  12. Baby steps is definitely the way to go!


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