The year is waning and as I prepare for the new year, Iv'e packed most of my library in boxes (labeled this time by categories literary journals, Calvin and Hobbes, Do-it-Yourself, fiction) in preparation for our next move, which is an intention more than a reality at this moment. If I want to read more, I'll need to write more. We have also disconnected our cable TV, but with so many other ways to deliver programming, I doubt I'll notice.
Anyway, I'll be too engrossed to find out how to watch Top Chef online. For the next nine days I am hosting my soul sister Tarah, a painter (her painting Black Over Fire will grace the cover of my new book) and campus interfaith director in Florida. Together we will visit the local art museum, and the Olympic Mountains, and drink tea and have long conversations. I will read her my poetry, and we will welcome in 2014, riding the ferry at midnight and watching fireworks explode above Seattle's Space Needle.
In the hour she's been here we've already been celebrating the many ways life is good and the growth that comes from the hard work of letting go of expectations, of embracing the unknown, of living out of the gifts we have been given to share with the world, and of noticing the beauty that is poured out upon us if we turn from our busy-ness and look with love on our surroundings.
In that spirit, I share with you another poem in my Metaphor Monday series written in the tradition of Sei Shonagan, an eleventh century Japanese writer whose Pillow Book contained many lists. Here is mine: "Things That Are Beautiful."