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Monday, 3 December 2012

Busy + a new anthology

Relief! After a week of heat and unaccustomed humidity, we have a few mild days before the heat strikes again. Just the break I needed to plant out late tomatoes and herbs (some of which had been sitting on my kitchen window sill for too long). I'm not a diligent gardener, as much as I'd like the fruits of such diligence, but some parts of the garden enjoy my neglect - like this 'busy' plant, so named because it takes over my garden in the same way busyness hijacks my life. A case of the good being the enemy of the best, or the tyranny of the urgent over the important. We have many adages that recognise this problem, but it's a constant battle to find the balance between worthwhile effort and sheer frenzy. For once, my photo and my poem join forces...(sorry, the photo disappeared from the blog. Don't quite know how that happens - maybe the shock of integration?!)


In the busyness of modern life,

A world of action, techno-hype,
Something is lacking.
Emptiness drives us to strive.
Where is the meaning?
Is this why I'm alive?
Does the activity make its own worth?
If I do more, do I score more highly?
If I stop, will I cease?
Will it be as if I'd never existed?
I stop.
I discover Being.
I begin to sense I really am.
If I do nothing, nothing “useful,”
I start to know I'm worth something.
I find myself co-living, not competing,
Made to be “with,” not “ahead”.
Stillness calls me to live:
When I feel empty, I stop.
My days are full but not in “busy's” sense;
I take my fill in Being, still, content.

(For those with an interest in poetic technicalities, this is a chiastic structure such as used in Hebrew poetry in the Old Testament Bible.)

An announcement: the latest volume of short stories, poems, plays and songs by the students, staff and friends of Tabor Adelaide's creative writing department is now available. It includes a story for children by me, two original Christmas carols by my husband, and plenty of other fun and thoughtful pieces. Christmas Tales can be purchased from the college by phone (+61 8 8373 8777) for AUD$12 plus postage and handling. 

Until next week…
Claire Belberg

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