Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shaking My Own Dust

Happy New Year! In the spirit of new beginnings and resolutions, I wanted to share a poem by Anis Mojgani. I saw him perform when I was in college in Bellingham back in 2003 or 2004. I remember him performing a piece called Shake the Dust. For some reason, as 2013 was winding down, the poem flooded back to my mind. I recommend watching the video of him, but just to give an idea, here is the beginning of the poem.

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This is for the fat girls.
This is for the little brothers.

This is for the school yard wimps
And the childhood bullies that tormented them
For the former prom queen 
And for the milk crate ball players
For the nighttime cereal eaters
And for the retired elderly Walmart store front-door greeters
Shake the dust.

This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them
For the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns
For the men who have to hold down 3 jobs
Simply to hold up their children
For the nighttime schoolers
And for the midnight bike riders trying to fly
Shake the dust.

This is for the 2 year olds who cannot be understood
Because they speak half English and half god
Shake the dust.

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2013 was a good year in a lot of ways, and a really hard year in others. The last few weeks, I've been doing whatever I need to shake my own dust.

First, I felt the physical need to clean things. I've been going through my closet and vacuuming the corners of my room. I checked my bookshelf to see if there were any books I needed to return to people. I vacuumed my car. I went to the Korean spa to soak and sweat and scrub away the dead skin.

It's also been a mental and emotional process of letting go of patterns that are no longer serving me. I want to feel clean and new and empty, and tie up the loose ends that I've had nagging at the back of my mind- having certain conversations, visiting friends and family I've been meaning to. I've needed to catch up on sleep, and have a couple lazy mornings. I've needed to just enjoy some time wandering in Seattle. I've needed to get outside, running stairs and jogging Greenlake in the rain. I've needed to get into the snow and laugh with girlfriends. I've needed to shake the dust of a recent breakup, and the dust of worrying about who or what I will find in the future.
And now that I feel clean and less weighted down, I'm excited for 2014. Really, really excited. I'm starting a new job that I am genuinely happy about, for the first time in several years. It's not something that I ever thought I'd be doing, but at the same time I know it will be a creative and intellectual challenge and a really good fit. There is a lot I want to do this year- not that I will resolve to do, but that I will just do.

One of those things is to keep on blogging, which I have done steadily since 2007. I love having this place to come and write and think and share. Even though some argue that the blog is dead, I am going to be here right on through this new year, plowing forward with a heart full of gratitude.


Ally said...

Excellent!! This is my favorite! You aren't kidding either becaus I could smell this fresh air all over you on Thursday. You are inspiring.

AmberAnda said...

It was so so so awesome seeing you last week! I'm so impressed that we can go so long without seeing each other, but then when we do you are intuitively aware of changes that I have gone through. So impressive! Thanks for noticing and for being a breathe of fresh air for me also :)