Making room for it all in your heart and your writing

Sage CohenProductive writing, The life poeticLeave a Comment

I remember wondering if I could possibly love anyone or anything as much as I loved my first dog, Henry. The synchronicity of our beings was such that he was (and still is) clearly my canine soulmate. When Henry’s little (but much bigger) sister Hamachi entered our lives, this wildly spontaneous beast and I had little in common, with the exception of our propensity to shed.

Despite the fact that absolutely nothing about her initiation into our lives was easy, and much of it was costly–in the way of major surgeries and major home repairs–our affinity for each other grew and Hamachi quickly came to hold an equal share of my heart (as well as more than three quarters of the bed). Suddenly, my sense of my own capacity to love had split like a cell from one to two.

Two. My son Theo loves this word, having recently grasped the concept of pairs of related things. And having just turned two years old himself, he is thrilled to now identify with this exalted number, one that seems to signify to him: so much of something good.

Two. I am now the author of two, nonfiction books. As my second, The Productive Writer, awaits its release this December, I find myself at that strange crossroads of calling in the love for this latest creation that has come through me. With poetry being my first and most natural path into authoring, what pocket of this old, stretched-out heart of mine might productivity claim as its own? Which 3/4 of the bed is it planning to cover in paw prints?

Then I think of my favorite beach in Manzanita, Oregon: the thirst of water carving itself down the dunes, across the hard, wave-battered flats of sand, in rivulets back to its source. Productivity, poetry, Henry and Hamachi are some of the primary tributaries of my heart, each sourcing the deep waters of who I am. Each one sending me further out into the darkness of whom I might next discover myself to be.

There is room enough for everything we love to shape the path that we travel.What are you stretching to include in your heart and your writing these days, and what wisdom might it have to offer about so much of something good?

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