A few years ago I rented a booth at an art festival in Pass Christian, Mississippi, a sleepy little town I’m soon going to call home. 

Back then, I was pretty nervous about showing my work and had heard on an artist podcast that our bodies, our posture, can directly affect our mood. Slumped over, crossed arms, closed off posturing releases cortisol, a stress hormone. Conversely, open body language releases endorphins. In other words, faking can create an environment where you no longer have to. You become confident by pretending to be. 

I tried it out, drank the kool aid, signed the dotted line. I’m a believer.

I’ve been working on this poem that references that moment at the art festival and the paradox of smallness and enormity– days that contain the universe and still nothing at all. And of course, the chickadees I often watch from my window, who teach me all those things and more. 

 

Monday Morning Sad

 

Monday morning sad

Grieving the work left undone 

Overwhelmed by the work ahead

 

Most of which will be unrealized, grieved

 

I spend an extra second 

Looking out the window above the kitchen sink

Where I wash coffee mugs the weekend leaves

And notice–

The wooden fence is turning grey–

The backdrop to a bird feeder I bought at an art festival–

Little tents in a line along the Gulf of Mexico 

 

It was Mississippi hot that day

And I stood face to face with that great ocean

My arms raised up and wide–

The “v” of birds seeking some other place

I am big, I said to the waves

 

Now I watch as chickadees eat safflower seeds 

Quickly. A separate trip for each tiny morsel

 

As though it were any other day

And there were nothing to grieve.

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