How will we participate in creating the new world that is becoming, all of us contributing something? What I want to know is: what will inspire the best in us, the most kindness and compassion? How do we keep going in times of trouble and not sink, exhausted, into despair? What will you make from what you have been given, your unique perspective and vision?
On Facebook, in September, singer / songwriter/ performer / artist, Joe Crookston, posted a new video of how he had created a new song from the words of a tired old song (“Wagon Wheel”). I like the metaphor of this process. Watch the video here.
And that inspired me to write this:
Turning “Wagon Wheel” into…Something Else
Inspired by Joe Crookston
Take what doesn’t work—
are you listening—
chop it up, not even all
that compulsively straight
But use it all to create
use it all according to
rules you made up yourself
I like the new song
I like the metaphor
I like the process
the cutting , the choices, the paste
I like the melody, the voice
the instruments, the video of all of it
the hope, the inspiration
the conscious letting go of outcome
I like the decision to share
to include, to invite in. And
in joyful wonder at the birth of a new song
I soaked it in and sang along
Margaret Dubay Mikus
Writing this new poem reminded me of resonant lines from an earlier poem:
“uses the bricks from the wall
to make something else altogether.”
Here is that poem:
I am my mother’s daughter
and I am the Mother of my Self—
one who made the form
and one who filled it.
And I am the mother of my daughter,
a beauty like no other.
She forgot to wash her socks until midnight and,
smiling her smile, asked if I could put them
in the dryer and I did…easily…again.
Who rules on any given day?
What boundaries between the roles I play
tying me to sanity?
No instructions, no models or even myths.
In all the worlds there ever were,
no one has ever been exactly like me…or you.
Or has done what we are about to attempt.
I am tempted to stop, not life, but struggle
to be more, to become what I imagine.
But a poet who is fearless,
who carries on regardless,
whose words are kind and true and honest
is more than essential for survival…
is the compassionate and dispassionate glue
that holds it all together,
or later after the fall,
uses the bricks from the wall
to make something else altogether.
Margaret Dubay Mikus
This poem was published in several places, including in my book, Letting Go and New Beginnings: A Mother’s Poetic Journey. I also read it on my CD, Full Blooming. Listen here.