House Home

our first shower

our first shower in la tigra 🙂

 

In 2006 my husband Felipe and I packed two bags, fifty thousand dollars and the dream of a self sustainable life. We moved to his tiny home town in rural México. We were there almost nine years getting a whopping lesson in dream meets reality.

Four months ago, I packed one bag and left for Nicaragua. I had fifty bucks, and the idea that perhaps Felipe would join me. As followers of this blog know, he did; he came with one bag and 1500 dollars in the bank from selling our pigs.

This is to say, I know a little bit about up and moving to another country. You might guess the hardest part is making it happen, but in my experience, the difficulty is making it home.

When I moved into in my new apartment in Nicaragua I was elated. It was so clean! No crumbling  walls, no stumbling into the forest  before dawn due to broken plumbing, no corners of impenetrable grime. Seven years with no money for house maintenance = hovel. But after a few months of white walls and dark wood I missed character, even if that meant something beyond patina.

I wish I could say I remedied this deficit with something more apparently meaningful say… volunteering or starting to write  a new book, but…I went shopping, at the Nica version of home depot no less!

Pillows!

Pillows!

 

I bought pillows, and place mats, an apron and wineglasses and a vase! Best of all… I bought two big bright coffee mugs. They aren’t as grande as the big green mug that held my hand as I stuttered through my recitations last year, but  they’re an investment in wake up happy.

IMG_0438

Wake up happy!

 

Felipe visited the Pierda Rahda last week, I’m pleased to report he found River and Monty fat and wild, and our cats still inhabiting the adobe and turning there nose up at the food our caretaker puts down for them everyday. I could have asked him to bring my big green mug, but I feel better knowing it’s there, waiting for me to drink in sunrise under the amate someday.

I guess I am not yet totally here -but I’m closer.

What’s your first step in making a house a home?

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Conclusions

My Morning Walk

Recently, I read an article about interpreting poetry. The author scrutinized and explained a poem line by line. I felt like was in 7th grade biology, a poor little frog, dead and spread eagled with pins before me.  I thought, do people really do this? I prayed, please don’t tell me this is how poetry is taught. If so, it’s no wonder so few people read and honor it.

There’s a lot of poetry that isn’t immediately accessible, but during this last year I learned, by walking with poems, that the body will teach you. Thinking will not gift you a great understanding of poetry, the language is not a dead thing to be dissected. Reading and then going for a walk, letting the words roll around, saying them loud, imbuing them with breathe — gives them life. Then let yourself be distracted by the trees, or a fly or your life for a while, the poem will settle and you will not understand, you will know it, in the way that you should, not the way someone else thinks you should. I don’t think there was ever a poet who hoped their poem meant only one thing to all people.

It wasn’t coincidental that I choose to walk to memorize, the literary tradition of walking is long and well acquainted with poets. I was vaguely aware of this, but I didn’t start walking and memorizing because of it. It was a natural inclination .

When I went for my first couple of walks after my project was completed, I felt liberated. I didn’t have anything I had to do —just walk, enjoy the scenery, and let my mind ramble. But then I started to feel a little naked heading out on the path without a poem in my pocket. So I wrote one down, and I’m carrying it around, living with it and it with me, as I imagine I will, as long as I can write and walk.

I took on the project to memorize and recite 52 in a year , because somewhere along the line I got it in my head that a “real” poet “knows” poems. A real poet reads poetry — A LOT of poetry. I wasn’t doing either. I was writing poems, but my commitment was facile.

I was correct in my assumptions about memorizing and reading.  I am not the novice I was a year ago. I don’t know that my own poetry has seen the benefits yet, but I now know where to go, and how to get there.

I hope you all had as much fun as I did 🙂

 

These were my favorites.

Saint Francis and the Sow, by Galway Kinnell

The Envoy, by Jane Hirschfield

Happy Ideas, by Mary Szybist

Often I Imagine the Earth, by Dan Gerber

Let Us Gather In a Flourishing Way, by Juan Felipe Herrera

 

 

Still Possible…

Wild Flowers Wallpaper
Recently, I had a dream, the climactic moment looked a lot like this.
I wasn’t surprised when I woke and thought about it, because I had been memorizing Wildpeace, by Yehuda Amichia.
It is the last poem in my series, Where I Live: a Devotion to Poetry.
Again, I thank you all for listening and supporting me in my endeavor. I’ll post my conclusions soon, but it’s been a monumental experience for me and deserves some time for rumnination.

I Did It! (With A Lot Of Help From My Friends)

Broadcasting from the New HolandBroadcasting from the New Holland

Well, I did it, I managed to memorize, recite and post 52 poems this year. I could not have done it without your support and interest. Really. I’m a basically lazy person, I would have given up. So many, many thanks my friends.

As you can see I’m in my remote locale, so I want to get this out before the signal fails, Im just going to give you the link to my Ytube page, if you want to view the last three poems now(Opportunity, by Robert winner, To the New Year by M.S. Merwin and Wildpeace by Yehuda Amichia), or you can wait until next week when I will post them here individually.

My Ytube channel.

Felipe and I wish you all a very Happy New Year from the Peidra Rahada! Peace, Peace, Peace, 🙂