Poets Are Bears
Poets are good at conserving energy.
They will do this by sequestering themselves, even for a portion of the day. William Stafford would get up at 4 and write in solitude until 7, before other engagements. My poet friend Robert Benson gave a workshop and said, "There are more people in this room than I've seen in six months." Yesterday my poet friend Tom mentioned taking an e-mail vacation; I thought, isn't that a great idea? Closing down some forms of conversation to give attention to other things.
When an animal hibernates, metabolism slows, body temperature lowers, and activity ceases. The critter's body is a concentrate of energy conservation.
We poets, writers and artists burn a lot of creative energy. If not careful, we may run out of fuel. This is why hibernation is so important.
Some animals, like bears, don't fully hibernate but enter a slower metabolic state from which they can be easily aroused. This, perhaps, is the best metaphor for the way we interface with the daily world. We disappear into our dens for a time, but scramble out when we need to, and this may be often.
We must find slow, cozy, altered states in the midst of busy lives - even if it's just ten or twenty minutes a day.
How are you meeting your need to conserve energy?
Labels: Poetry for April