Almost a month ago now (sigh) I was gifted a magical writing retreat by the Fetzer Institute. That week, spent with 13 other hearts-wide-open writers, continues to astound me. The white space and the grace of that week continues to urge me toward my creative truth.
What is it that I must distill and express? What is it I must commit to out of all my shiny ideas?
What is this fierce longing in my belly that must be freed? I ask myself that question every day and in living into it, I think I might be broken into a thousand bits.
Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing? Just write, that’s where the juice, meaning, and living lies. Tie yourself to the mast and keep at it no matter what. Don’t get too precious about it either, Jen.
Anyhoo, I’ve been wanting to share something of each of the writers I am now proud to call friends - share their brilliance, their love, their take on the world. Today you get a poem from the adorable Jack Ridl. I fell in love with him the first night when he spoke my exact fears saying, as we all sat in a circle together, “I’m shy. I’m not sure I belong here.” Me,too!
I wanted to lunge across the circle and hug him.
I restrained myself.
Jack is married to the amazing Julie who is the writer behind the most helpful website on sex at midlife ever ever created. Truly – if you are in midlife and giving up on sex or frustrated by the “issues” – get over there!
Now for an awkward segue from sex to angels. Or perhaps not so awkward. Do angels have sex? Okay, stopping now.
The Materialism of Angels by Jack Ridl
From Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press, 2006)
“Who would say that pleasure is not useful?”—Charles Eames
Of course the angels dance. If not
on the head of a pin, then maybe
on the boardwalk along the ocean of stars.
And they eat hot and spicy: salsa,
Tabasco, red peppers. They love
mangos. They can munch
for hours on cashews. Olives
sit in bronze bowls on the cherry
tables next to their canopy beds
where the solace of pillows swallows
their sweet heads and the quiet
of silk lies across their happy backs.
They know the altruism of material things.
They want to say to us, “We’ll sleep
next to you. Feel our soft and unimposing
flutter across your shoulders, on your
heartbroken feet.” They want us
to take, eat, to smell the wood,
run our tired fingers over the rim of
every glass, give our eyes the chance
to see the way the metal bends and
curves its way into the black oval
of the chair. They want us to feel
the holiness of scratching where it
itches, rubbing where it hurts. They
want us to take long, steamy showers
and a nap. They know how easily
we follow directions: hook the red wire
to the front of the furnace, fill in only
the top half of the life insurance form.
They have no manuals for joy.
They can’t fix anything we break.
They wonder why we never laugh
enough, why we don’t know God
is crazy for deep massage, and loves
to wail on an alto sax whenever they dance.
God is crazy for deep massage! That’s my kind of God. Big smooches Jack!
P.S. Today is the live support call for The Satisfaction Finder so be sure and join us - you’ll get an email shortly with the info. Please don’t think you have to have read the whole book or even used it yet to call in. I want to be your catalyst for using it, as well as to answer any and all questions. The Satisfaction Finder is what I wrote during the Fetzer retreat and I’m very, very proud of it. If you can’t be on the live call, feel free to post questions here if you can’t be live on the call.