This brief poem, from a larger work by Gary Snyder called Hitch Haiku (written in the 1970s, so you can infer context) has been a “mentor poem” for me in recent months. It companions me through my day and offers its wise guidance when I am at a crossroads, in a frantic stew of busyness, or find myself avoiding a simple task that would make a difference. May it also guide you in this shortest month!
After weeks of watching the roof leak
I fixed it tonight
by moving a single board
–Gary Snyder, from Hitch Haiku
(c) in name of poet
• What are you avoiding?
• Write about a situation that feels complex or out of your control. As you write, stay alert for any small shift that is within your power that you could implement starting right away.
• Make a list of simple household or workplace chores that would take 1-5 minutes to complete. Set aside an hour to work uninterrupted. Check items off your list.
• Sometimes simple, elegant solutions don’t reveal themselves until you been in the dark for a long time. Write about a time when something became suddenly obvious to you. What did you do next? How did it turn out?