April 7, 2011 § Leave a Comment
by Pablo Neruda
He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly.
He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones “i’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly.
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly.
He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly.
He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly.
He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly.
Let’s try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
The reason why I love this poem is because it serves as a reminder to me to step out of my shell and to be more adventurous with life and with the choices I make. It’s easy to get trapped in the routine of getting up and going to work and then coming home and watching tv. You keep doing the same thing day after day and pretty soon time flies by and you don’t know what has become of your life.
Last year I was at a crossroads in my life. I could continue to do the same things I was doing or I could change and chart a different path for myself and this poem has become my mantra on change. Little by little I’m setting a new course for my life and trying new things.
I understand why the author would mention travel, reading, and music as being aspects that a person should experience and I believe that myself. These activities open you mind to new ways of thought and perspective. I’d also add viewing art to this list as well because seeing the creativity of someone else can inspire you in your own work. It can also inspire you to think on a higher level and to be innovative.
March 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Recently, I’ve been feeling more inspired to write while I’m at work. This is strange because my job is the least creative or inspiring place. I spend most days looking at spreadsheets and concentrating on numbers to make sure everything balances. There is a complexity to the processes I have to follow and attention to detail is key. I’ve become disciplined in not letting my mind wander. Since I’m so focused on my tasks, there isn’t time for creative thought.
Yet, my mind is rebelling. Every morning I seem to be full of ideas and I find myself quickly writing them down. These ideas inspire me and I have a strong desire to write. Sadly, it isn’t possible for me to do this and there are many times when I feel that I miss opportunities to write something beautiful.
I wonder if these moments are happening more often at work as a way to refresh me and to help me to feel positive. I must admit that these ideas are welcomed and they seem to help relieve the stress that I feel during the day. I’m also wondering if in a strange way my job is my muse. It’s an interesting thought and my job seems to be the place where I’m suddenly the most creative. I’ve never thought of my muse as being the place where I work but I’ve decided to accept this and to enjoy the moments of creativity it brings.