In an interview, Carrie Fountain said:
"Be wary of becoming a poet. Be wary of becoming anything. I mean: you want to become a surgeon. Or, I should say, you want your surgeon to have become a surgeon! But don’t become a poet. You’ll never get there. Just get started. Each morning, make a little progress. Send out a little prayer. Take note of something. Try to be facing in the direction of the surprise."
Carrie's words made me sit up and turn my attention on. In the next few days these are the things that surprised and delighted me.
A sudden downpour, followed by a momentary hot splash of sun, then an immediate blackening horizon. Like someone flipping switches in the sky.
A wasp nest hidden in the undercurve of the bark chunk I picked up. It was abandoned. I felt lucky as I studied the intricate papery compartments.
A wren's nest inhabited earlier this spring still intact and tightly affixed to a branch that had been toppled the day before while clearing.
The broom I spontaneously made from nandina fronds while hurrying to sweep the studio drive. It worked wonderfully well and made me realize why so many cultures continue to use those luscious natural brooms. They're exceedingly efficient and I got a great upper body workout as a bonus.
A reminder of the magic of process as I explain to a new customer how her purchase was made. Sometimes I forget to remember.
The instant email feedback I get from my upcoming Adriatic trip guide. She tells me she will be happy to assist me in my quest to see the Sarejevo Haggadah while in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even if this doesn't happen it will be wonderful to visit the struggling museum that houses this treasure.
The disappearing Loquats on our one tree. As I wait and watch for them to ripen they are here one day, gone the next and I mean completely. Not pecked and dropped as they often are, but stealthily stolen in the night. I have to admire the clever thieves and hope they enjoyed their plunder.
A morning bunnie sidekick - literally. I'm walking along when out she pops right next to my feet. It must have taken her a minute to get a grip on the situation - I know the feeling - because she hopped right alongside me for 20 feet or so before finally darting off into the woods leaving me with a happy heart.
All this in just three days. Surprise. Pablo Neruda called it amazement. Surprise and amazement. When you pay attention they are constant companions and embellish our days. So I agree a good suggestion for an aspiring poet would be to always face in the direction of the surprise, but really isn't that something we all want to do.