Back and Forth and Back

I’ve decided that it’s high time to get back to William Blake, my old friend. So many things from my 20s, like Blake, are seeming important again in my 40s. David Whyte, on his excellent CD about mid-life crisis, says, “You could do worse than to read poetry every day.” What happened to poetry in my life? I’ve always been a terrible poet, but I’ve always been a great appreciator . . . except for the last umpteen years, when so much that I considered “me” has disappeared in service of the “strategic mind.” Everything I read and talk about with dear friends and journal about now seems to suggest that rediscovering these things from the past is part of what will help me/one emerge from a mid-life crisis. It’s not just that you struggle to get out of the pain of this radical reassessment, but that you find the parts of you that have been starving during the working and child-bearing years and bring them back into the “conversation,” as David Whyte would say. Then you can travel forward again with more pieces of you intact than ever before. So William Blake, who was so much a part of my young adulthood, needs to come with me during this phase of the journey too, I think. I feel like I have at least twice the experience to bring to my reading this time, and he will mean all the more.

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