I’m finding that my poetry writing is helping me explore my feelings in a more explicit way than ever before. The combination of thinking hard about what subject to explore and the search for specific, impactful words pushes me to dig into my emotions so I can more accurately and concisely convey them. Not easy, mind you, but usually pretty cathartic for me. Why am I telling you this? Well, the other day I wrote a poem that caused me to think very hard about where I am in my life and whether my old assumptions and goals were relevant any longer. It was, to say the least, an uncomfortable process.
I realized how much I’ve resisted letting go of all sorts of things that once guided my efforts and basically defined me (at least to myself) – things that I probably couldn’t replicate today, even if they were good for me. By things I mean tangible accomplishments as well as attitudes, values and judgements. For a long time I was “blowing and going” in my life: good jobs, great family, big house, social status, etc. But I failed to see the cost or baggage that came with those things. Turns out the cost was pretty high – and, ultimately, I tripped over that baggage.
So, as I try to re-establish myself as a newly single 60 year-old man, it now seems clear that I shouldn’t try to replicate my former life – but, damn, it’s hard to leave those attitudes, perspectives and habits behind (I AM 60, after all – you know, old dogs, new tricks and all that). Not sure why I’m so mired in the past – realistically, I don’t have the energy, stamina or ambition to take on what I did at 30. And subsequent time and events certainly remind me of the danger of trying to do so. So, I just need to embrace a new paradigm, a new set of values and goals. Easy, huh? Now I just need to figure out what that all looks like. As always, I’m wide open to suggestions. Oh, that poem, entitled “God’s Grace” can be found through this link: God_s Grace
Speaking of paradigm shifts, I tried something new on the food front. My friend Zack and my daughter Riki have both extolled the virtues of slow cookers to me. At Riki’s suggestion, I tried something new (for me): yesterday morning I threw two chicken breasts into the slow cooker along with a jar of some pretty zingy stuff – mango habanero salsa. Left them to cook on low all day (7+ hours), them shredded the chicken back into the pot. The result: a very tasty concoction which I then ate on some fresh flour tortillas. Very easy to make, simple to serve and eat and, oh yeah, REALLY good. The salsa was excellent. Believe me, this IS a new paradigm for me. I never would have tried something like this in my former life. Kinda digging this part of the scene! A couple of pictures of my salsa chicken (in the cooker and plated on the tortilla) are below. Try it! Ciao for now…