On many occasions, over the years, I often replied to the query about what I wanted in life by saying, "I want to live the poetry of life." However, I was always at a loss to explain what that phrase really meant. The best I could offer was that poetry served to word the world in a way that brings you to life and life to you. But I did not realize the depth of that response until I explored the meaning of the word “context.”
Our experience depends on the context in which it occurs, and even more so, on the context of meaning in which we cast it. The word "context" derives from the middle English “con” or together plus “texere” or weaving and it originally meant "the weaving together of words." Our ancestors knew that we live in the world as we describe it, however consciously or unconsciously. The quality of our experience, on a moment-by-moment basis, is embedded in a kind of subtext, composed of our immediate internal dialogue and our unconscious descriptive map of life, that determine what events mean, how they effect us, how we should respond, and, even who we are in relationship to these events.
This article is the prologue to my 4th book of poetry, The Poetry of Life, available through Amazon and as a digital download. Learn more here:
We use this account to make sense of it all, to make life predictable, and to keep the world manageable. Unfortunately, we are mostly at the whim of this narrative, living out the story in our lives without knowing we are the authors. Taking charge of your narrative by consciously crafting your descriptions may be the quickest route to self-actualization and the straightest path to freedom.
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When you elevate the weaving together of words into an art form, you have poetry. I use this art form to turn my moments, my experiences, and my life into a work of art. "Context" as the weaving together of words finally answers that question about what it means to live the poetry of life: I use the weaving together of words to set an empowered context for life within which I find meaning, joy, beauty, and wisdom and I endeavor to model this for others, and to teach this to others, in order to elevate lives across the planet.
Poetry reconciles and makes sense of what seems senseless and random in our lives. Poetry reveals the beauty in everyday life as easily as in those amazing moments when we witness the miraculous. Poetry expresses the timeless wisdom that helps us to triumph over tragedy and to find redemption in suffering. Poetry's hidden power is the capacity to transform your moments, your experiences, and, indeed, your life into a magnificent work of art.
In my travels and my everyday life, I make it a practice to go on a “poetry walk” with the intention to write. I venture out eager to describe what catches my eyes and ears, ready to feel my way into what appears to me, and open to discover the secrets life might have to share with me. I use dictation software, often with odd and amusing translation into text, or I write in a pocket journal to capture my thoughts and feelings. This practice often yields immense delight in the world. I admit to living in a Fool’s Heaven and feeling a beautiful intimacy with life, almost like a forbidden love affair, a secret tryst with an undercover lover.
If you were having a love affair with life, what kind of affair would it be?
Tumultuous? Passionate? Argumentative? Estranged?
Blissful? Forbidden? Abandoned?
Share your view in the comments below!