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Embracing a Lull

Today by chance and little design, I’m experiencing a lull. It didn’t occur to me until yesterday when I returned to the book I have been reading, Birds, Art, Life : A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear.  I picked up where I left off  a week ago, read a few pages and then came upon her chapter titled “Lulls.” Yes, today is a lull. I’ve accompanied my husband on an event he is attending.  I’m in a hotel room at a conference center with unclaimed time, resisting the grand mall nearby, the hearings on the news, even the gardens around the adjacent golf course.  I’ve decided to engage in stillness. Maclear writes,” But it is not the glorious lulls that concern me. It is the lulls that have no velocity, that offer no structured reassurance, that bloom unbidden in the middle of nowhere…” Certainly, this day bloomed in the middle of nowhere. There is only the structure I impose on myself. Quiet and the soft humming of the room noises. It seems everyone has left the building. No hallway noise, no coming and going.  A lull in activity. No dog to walk. No supper to plan and cook. No desk to attend. No voices other than my own and Kyo Maclear’s musings. Sun salutations then coming to stillness. Meditation. Hands folded. Thumbs touching. Watching the body breathe itself.

It is a time of jubilee. On Thursday of this week, May 11 my volume of poems, Hunger for Salt will be released by Saint Julian Press. Several weeks afterward, I will celebrate my 67th birthday. What is of significance? This lull? This moment of reflection. The garden outside my window? I obsessed about dresses and shoes. I obsessed about the spaces that seemed to appear from nowhere in the galley, the O’s that turned mysteriously to zeros in the final pass. It is done. I have boxes of copies in my dining room. I have yet, out of fear, to go through the printed volume. I have spent years saying, get a book done first and then…

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