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
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.