To engage with the world.
To fully engage, all gears interlocked and working together. To commit. Things only run well when everything is fully engaged.
Yet my life is full of distractions from...my life. How can that be?
I wear my mother's engagement ring, a flat-cut old-fashioned diamond. I would never buy a diamond myself now, or accept one, knowing where and how they come to market, but this was passed on to me. (No doubt mined from the same misery that all the other ones are. And the clothes on my back? And the food that I eat? And the gas in my car?)
I told my sister at the time, "I feel funny wearing her engagement ring when I'm not engaged."
She said, "You're engaged with life!"
Today I woke up feeling that I wasn't engaged enough in my own life. The bills have piled up again. Student work that I should have gotten to by now is awaiting my final comments, and to be put in envelopes. Other work, a half-finished essay, the kids' presents. Mess, disorganization; all a way to stay slightly disengaged, wansdering around with a coffee cupin hand, looking for a place to set it down.
I tried moving my mother's ring from my second finger, where I wear it, to my real ring finger, but it's too loose. It doesn't fit that finger.
Then, this morning, an email from a woman I don't know, who had read my poem in The Sun, and told me about being on a spiritual retreat and hearing her lama read another poem of mine. My poems are engaged in the world, even when I myself don't feel it.
This weekend, Elizabeth and Theron are going to perform a dance/theatre piece to my poem, "The Beautiful Two-Year-Old Boy." Part of being a writer is that your work goes out into the world and has relationships with people while you sit at a desk and try to find the PG&E bill, and then the checkbook.