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What We’re Doing Here by Julie VanDerVeen Van Til
you turned your attention
from the blustery
fog flipping newspaper pages
strewn on the sidewalk’s edge to this
black on white
avoiding questions already posed by
the ocean chill in the air out there
by yellow flowered
weeds poking up through cement cracks
by a mild throb pulsing between your hairline and eyebrows
bent on reminding you the conversation you just ended isn’t over
I see what we’re doing here
fixes your eyes
assures you an answer to the anxious what’s next
no worry just
now a page has slipped free from the stack
skipping over itself
brushing softly the side door of a black sedan
a lumbering woman detours toward the pages that remain
peers for a minute at flapping images like a moving picture show
then pivots to walk on
your phalanges and metacarpals continue the
scroll click slide
tensed in relentless circular motion
bits of pent up mental emotional spiritual
released and retracted
yo-yoed out and
afraid to be freed
from the gravity of distraction
an orbit of your own choosing
Let’s try something
Take the first finger and thumb of one hand
slide its skin
over the skin of the swiping hand
I’m serious –
inch your way to the edge of this orbit
counteract your own force
swing your legs off the side of the spinning merry go round
slide right off this screen to
trip and skip over yourself down the sidewalk
Sure the gritty surface will
skin knees and bang up bones
but I bet
await you there than
what we’re doing here.
Rev. Julie VanDerVeen Van Til is a native Mid-westerner living in San Francisco as a pastor, coach, and mom of middle schoolers. She doesn’t claim to be a poet but embraces practices like this to keep her connected to her own soul as she helps others connect to theirs.
Yes, and amen. Vicarious life isn’t life at all. Thank you Julie, for laying it out like this!
Thanks, Amy. Here’s to life!
Thanks, Julie. I truly enjoyed that.
Thanks for receiving it, Kent!
Thanks, Julie. I’m almost hoping for a skinned knee today.
*almost* – love that, Ruth!
What a creative way to remind us of the reality around us.