,RHYS: I don't know about you, but I've been finding the last weeks really stressful. I see the imploding of our nation, our democracy. I can't begin to imagine what might happen next. I'm not going to mention specifics because I don't want the sort of hate mail that some friends have received, as in "why don't you kill yourself?"
So one thing I've always done when under moments of extreme stress, is to recite poetry. Two old favorites, Walt Whitman and Robert Frost come immediately to mind, especially the latter. When I was hiking in New Hampshire once my friends and I visited the Frost farm and did the poetry walk. It takes one around the estate and where each of the poems was written it is tacked up to a tree. The woodpile poem next to the woodpile. The Picking Apples next to the apple tree. We took it in turns to read aloud, our voices echoing in the crisp fall air with the scent of real, rotting apples beneath our feet and the trees glowing in fall colors. One of the most memorable experiences of my life.
And now I'm muttering to myself, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep."
And of course:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I--
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."
Two poems that speak to me personally. Isn't it magical the way that words can help and heal?
And where are the poets these days? Writing poetry we can all read and recite and appreciate?
I suppose they are now the song writers. Yesterday, all my troubles were so far away,"
But I'm going to keep to positive thoughts:
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road
Healthy. Free. The world before me.
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune--I myself am good fortune.
Henceforth I whimper no more. Postpone no more, need nothing.
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
Yes, that will be my mantra until election day. Maybe for the rest of my life.
Do you have a favorite poem that gets you through bad times?