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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Adaptation-Quest2107

Today we all have a choice: We can take risks and actions to ensure that we adapt with the constantly changing times or we can hope for the best and do nothing. Adapt from within or you may be forced to adapt from without. Are you ready? #Adaptation

This morning I’m back in the bedroom, writing from bed. The pinkish sunrise beaconing.A new day. Morning has broken. Left behind the terribly sad funeral yesterday. The toll felt in our bodies this morning. Where does grief reside in the body? I think, the eyes. Yesterday it was my heart, today, eyes. The optic nerve is exhausted. We need respite. But the world refuses that luxury. Too much is happening or not happening.

When I read adaptation, I think flexibility. I think readiness. I think creativity. I think resourceful. I think innovation. I think out of the ordinary. I think poetry. Robert Bly’s Leaping Poetry: An Idea with Poems and Translations. Self published in 1972 then picked up by Beacon Press in 1975. He begins with dragon smoke . ” In ancient times, in the ‘time of inspiration,’ the poet flew from one world to another, ‘riding dragons,’ as the Chinese said. Isiah rode on dragons, so did Li Po and Pindar. They dragged behind them long tails of dragon smoke… This dragon smoke means that a leap has taken place … The leap can be described as a leap from the conscious to the unconscious and back again, a leap from the known part of the mind to the unknown part and back to the known.”

There is a thin layer of ice on the reservoir this morning. A strong wind. Bly always came to Bennington  College in winter. Often he ushered in a winter storm. During his short visit he offered a poetry workshop at 6:00 in the morning. Only fools did not attend. We gathered in the cold in Commons. He encouraged writing about ordinary objects. He might bring in a few: a rock, a bowl, a pine cone. Then he would say, describe this object. Then he would say now add in the Divine.

The Divine as Unknown. The Divine as Mysterious. The Divine as Collective Unconscious. Hardwired for adaptation. Last week, openhearted. Today, opening the third eye. Alternative ways of seeing, knowing. Yes, the optic nerve is tired. Go to the third eye. That place in the middle of the forehead. Add  essential oil. Be still. Be brave. Have courage. Find a dragon. Go to the other world,  then come back, leaving a tail of dragon smoke.

#BenningtonCollege #LeapingPoetry #quest2017 #adaptation #RobertBly

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