Every day

by Bill Wahman

Every day, at least once, one must allow a picture to form
Out of the random scene before one’s eyes.
It may take shape easily, in front of a window, say,
with table and bench, light silhouetted,
plants enclosed by the window frame.
Objects on the table, a tea cozy and tea egg
in a dish. A ruffled napkin askew on the oilcloth.
One must observe the entire field of view
and the angles and harmonies of color.
And then back up to form a new picture
out of the wider context framed by your eyes.

Every day, at least once, one must listen to
music with complete attention and concentration.
Or, stop and listen to whatever form takes
shape in the random sounds of the air.
One must attend to several voices at once
in random balance, letting the mind make
sense of it. Some balance or imbalance.

One must, every day, become aware of
one’s body in as much of its totality
as possible. Complete physical awareness.
With arms and legs extended or curled up,
active or passive.

One must on a daily basis be in a garden
of whatever choice or kind, urban or country,
and sit and look, being calm.

One must watch and listen to the birds.
This is very important to being alive.
The birds can help you rediscover
your soul.

And one must read a poem or listen,
remembering the world from which
the poem speaks and takes life,
paying attention to the world the poem
creates.

One must eat meals with knowledge
of what one is eating. Full consciousness.

And one must acknowledge one’s
lack of complete consciousness,
one must realize one’s own
place.

Bill Wahman is a musician and a gardener working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

See all articles by Bill Wahman