Every dream that becomes a reality begins with a leap of faith.
Almost everything I work at, I either do it with fearless passion, or I don’t do it at all. There’s no dragging me in to something I have no interest in. I like to have variety in my life, so I involve myself with a number of different projects, hobbies, loves, hopping from one to the other, working at building the dreams that have come to me. I do my best to do what feels right in that moment, and I keep things as simple as I know how to these days.
When I was young I enjoyed reading, penning myself in one place, taking in an authors work, sometimes from cover to cover. I still spend time reading on occasion, exposing myself to the minds of others, the stories they share and the pictures they paint with their words.
Billy Collins is a poet, one of the most read, and a former U.S. Poet Laureate. He also has a book on the New York Times Best Seller’s list, Aimless Love. He’s one of my favorites to read, and so i’ll share one of his masterpieces with you…
The Trouble with Poetry: A Poem of Explanation
The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along a beach one night —
cold Florida sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky —
the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.
And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,
and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks.
Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.
But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.
And along with that, the longing to steal,
to break into the poems of others
with a flashlight and a ski mask.
And what an unmerry band of thieves we are,
cut-purses, common shoplifters,
I thought to myself
as a cold wave swirled around my feet
and the lighthouse moved its megaphone over the sea,
which is an image I stole directly
from Lawrence Ferlinghetti —
to be perfectly honest for a moment —
the bicycling poet of San Francisco
whose little amusement park of a book
I carried in a side pocket of my uniform
up and down the treacherous halls of high school.
You can find more of his poetry here at: http://billycollinspoetry.com
It’s been suggested to me before that I write a book. I’ve always thought that I’d like to explore that opportunity, but in the past, I haven’t felt like I was ready. As I’ve been pedaling my bike across America, I’ve been practicing, everyday, writing, sharing it with you here.
The trouble with writing is that it encourages the desire in me to write more, which is an observation I stole directly from Billy Collins, to be perfectly honest for a moment.
Sometimes I write from the corner of a hotel room, planted in a chair, my feet up on the ottoman. Or at a wooden picnic bench in a campground where the morning birds are singing from the tree that leans over the pond. I’ve written from the home of angels, those who’ve taken Jo and I in, disappearing out on to their patio or sometimes while sipping coffee in their recliners. I’ve penciled my thoughts from plenty of coffee shops, either seated outside under the big umbrella in the uncomfortable black metal chair, and other times, inside, nestled in a soft wingback. I’ve posted up in recreation rooms at RV parks, and I’ve penciled my thoughts from the inside of my tent while looking out at the neighbors who sat in their canvas folding chairs. One time, I positioned myself on the sand in Galveston and documented a days experience from there. And I’ve woke up next to a cactus and wrote from the floor of the desert in California.
And so I’m going to take another leap of faith and continue to pursue this passion in this next season of my life. And none of it would even be possible if it wasn’t for the encouragement you’ve given, the continuous out pouring of love, for letting me know you believe in me, and the support from friends, family and strangers. Forever grateful.