Marie Howe's interview with Krista Tippet got me to think about the relationship we have with language. How do we have trouble with describing the seemingly mundane when in fact that it is the mundane that is our lives. The stories that Howe tells of her students, not being able to describe what they see everyday is typical of my generation, I think. We are always told to, "stop and smell the roses," and yet rarely do or know how to. I think what Howe is trying to illustrate is that the only way to deal with humanity is through art. It alone has the feelings and imagery to describe an existence that is living and dying, simultaneously.
Ordinary time seems to be the everyday. This everyday is powerful if we live in the now or live in the moment. Howe showed the power Alcohol can have on a family of origin. It can create havoc, as she states. When I was getting sober I went to a new age treatment center, devoted to the idea that if you lived constantly in the moment, you would not have to seek your drug of choice. At first glance it seemed ridiculous but as time went by learning the thought patterns sobriety seemed possible. It is called the Health Realization approach to sobriety. Not only did it help me become sober it changed the way I look at everyday "ordinary time."
Poetry is often difficult for people to understand. The main reason is, I feel, that we do not want to take the time necessary in order to unpack the poem. Whether it is because of the go-go world we live in, or the screen watching we are apparent slaves to; we are losing touch with our everyday, our mundane, our ordinary time. It takes great artists like Marie Howe to point that out to us, refocusing our everyday, and allowing us to "stop and smell the roses."
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