I should question my priorities. Is it the number of books you read that counts, or is it the enjoyment and information you receive from each book? What counts? What matters? I need to remind myself that last month I read more poetry than I usually do, and should not be displeased with the poetry I wrote during April’s poetry month. I felt I had to push myself a little harder, but still wrote every damn day.

 

By JG Lewis

Now well into May, April remains a hangover with the dread of inaction and poor choices resonating into this month.

This New Moon is required; a new phase is drastically needed on my piece of the planet.

A New Moon allows us to step forward to another phase, a new day launching into another week of a month that really hasn’t started yet. April’s chill remains, as does old intentions now tainted, even rancid, with feelings of disappointment and non-accomplishment.

I didn’t increase my daily steps last month. Yes, I well surpassed the requisite 10,719 daily steps on average, but my mileage has not increased much from January on.

I did not complete the two books I started reading in April with strong intentions of finishing each well before the 30-day self-imposed deadline.

I did not write daily in my journal, nor did I make the planned progress on editing my manuscript. Even my poetry was nowhere near as prolific as it ought to be, especially during poetry month, so it was a disappointment to me.

I also didn’t make any progress on my oil painting. I bought a huge canvass a little over a month ago, just before we went into another COVID-19 lockdown. I had big plans of using my extra time to re-familiarize myself with the medium. The canvas remains pure and white, still wrapped in its protective plastic like a barrier between creativity and me.

In short, I did not meet my expectations.

In fact, I feel I have even fallen short of my intentions. Why didn’t I do what I needed to do, or at least planned on doing? It’s all too easy to blame it on this virus, or the weather; or the Moon.

Was the time not right, or was it simply me unwilling or unworthy of the self-care I feel I need? I tried, in some small measure, to push forward, but remained stuck in the month instead of moving with it. April is supposed to be about change (as is March and February before that).

It may happen soon. I still have goals, yes, but it seems more difficult with my April intentions still on the list. Perhaps I need the New Moon and the promise of the light ahead to see what I actually accomplished.

I should be proud of the fact, year over year, I actually doubled the number of steps I took in April 2020. It was then, just as COVID-19 was settling around us, that I decided each day should begin with a wander around the city I now call home. The simple goal of 10,000 steps a day quickly fell by the wayside.

Shouldn’t I be pleased that one year later I am still up early and stepping forward?

I should remember how much I enjoyed discovering where I now live and how I became more familiar with streets and sights. I should remember that having the art gallery as a destination, when it was open, kept me moving on some days.

I should remind myself that each of the books I am still reading continues to provoke new ideas and thoughts on a constant theme. I should remind myself that surely there is more inspiration in the pages ahead, and there are more books to read beyond that. I should remind myself that not being able to visit a library or bookstore has allowed me to take a closer look at the books I already have on my shelf.

I should question my priorities. Is it the number of books you read that counts, or is it the enjoyment and information you receive from each book? What counts? What matters?

I need to remind myself that last month I read more poetry than I usually do, and should not be displeased with the poetry I wrote during April’s poetry month. I felt I had to push myself a little harder, but still wrote every damn day. As a poet, I should remember that I don’t need to give myself permission to write from my current perspective.

In hindsight, my poetry—last month or otherwise—is a reflection of where I am. Can you get any more honest than that? Honesty is the best poetry.

So, I should not be disappointed, but rather accept what came out of me. I should remind myself that expectations and goals are two separate and distinct things.

And I need to remind myself that the Moon exposes herself to us a little more each day, just as I do in my journal. We all go through phases.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

Honesty is the best poetry. ~ JG Lewis Click To Tweet

 

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