Monday, March 12, 2012
Love letter to Lynda Barry's mind
This morning I typed Lynda Barry's name in at YouTube, looking for her brief explanation of how one can keep a diary in four minutes a day. But I found this instead.
Giving us lots of time to prepare, the Academy of American Poets has sent out reminders that April 26 is "Poem In Your Pocket Day." As they describe it,
"The idea is simple, select a poem you love, carry it with you, and share it with co-workers, family, and friends..."
WHAT IF we had poems in our pockets AND had memorized them? I know this is not new thinking for many of you and I ask your patience with me, still breaking in my poetry shoes, trying to remember that I can wear them for every day and not just save them for good.
Lynda Barry's mind, as expressed in this video and her various works, ought to be declared a national treasure. That she is aware of the mind, generally, as a pearl of great price makes me feel as though I just woke up from a mediocrity-induced coma. It is not just what she says, but the uniquely plain-spoken AND sort of revolutionary way she says it. Poetry traveling to us through time. My embarrassingly low-brow response is, Duh.
We are encircled by fires, asked to extinguish the minor blazes of how to fix this, how to heal that, where can we find the money, time or energy for at least nine minor-to-major situations on what seems a daily basis. Behind those pesky and attention-demanding fires are the others, the real fires, the ones that are not meant to be dampened but fanned. They are our sources of light; they are our light. Here we are, back again, caught by the inexpert attempt at balance that is life. How do we keep our small worlds from falling into the chaos of under-attended ordinary existence AND continue to be flames, or at least embers, of all that is soaring, expanding, contributing and becoming? We just do because we must.