POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#028: September, 2006


We have lived a very full five years since the 9/11 tragedy struck. We are strong, but are we also open to changes? Yes, we’ve adjusted to higher gas prices, higher food prices, higher mortgage payments - all with the same old wages. Not much for our laborers to celebrate this Labor Day. We are labored to the hilt in 2006. And now we have reached the ninth month of the year. We are full term into whatever it is that we have been giving birth to this year. What are we bringing to our table this harvest season’? It is time to give birth.

“Giving birth” is an interesting expression. Do we give birth or does birth give us a kick as some great thing emerges from our creative wombs? You can’t always get what you want; even if you’ve worked hard on some “it” for the past nine months. Occasionally, you do get what you need, though. What will your own sense of birthing give to you this year?

In numerology, the number “nine” is the culmination of all the lesser numbers before it. It signifies completions. Have you finished all those summertime projects? Now is a good time to wrap it up and prepare for the cold months ahead. It has been a feeling of mine for some time that this is going to be a cold winter. Recently, this feeling was confirmed both by NOAA and the Farmer’s Almanac. Cold and wet. Good for snow skiers. Not so good for paying utility bills on top of gasoline, food, clothing, and satellite tv bills. Completing those household and personal projects now will free you up to prepare for winter. Completion is a hard task for most. Why does it so often seem to us that to start a new project is easier than completing an old one? Let’s take a moment to look at an old hobby of mine: Sailing.

Sailboats can not sail directly into the wind. They must go on what is called tacks; that is, go one way, then come about and go the other - constantly edging closer and closer to the goal somewhere upwind. It is exciting to pull tight on the sheets (ropes that hold the sails up) and hang tough against the wind. When you bring your boat about, you turn the boat slowly into the wind. The boat will slow and come to a full stop for a short time before the sails fill again and you go shooting off on another tack in a different direction. That brief period of calm stillness in between tacking is when your sails will luff (flap aimlessly) in the breeze that you are headed into. This is a dangerous moment for sailors. The sail can pop open in either direction, swinging the boom (beam that holds the bottom of the sail to the mast) around quickly. Sailors don’t much like that still moment of luffing straight into the wind. They prefer the movement of tacking off in one direction or the other.

The month of September can be a time for LUFFING. We’ve worked hard on the projects of summer. Ahead of us is more hard work. But for now there is an easing up, a momentary stillness before we turn to New Directions. This is a scary time for anyone who fears the “stopping point” and for those who can’t seem to allow themselves to arrive at a point of completion and rest. Take time to breathe and feel the stillness this month. It’s not that scary. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the work you’ve seen through to completion and then take a moment to breathe. Enjoy feeling that certain flow that is always there if you can just convince yourself to stop and to feel it. Only then can we all move on to month #10 - numerologically, a good month for new beginnings.

Jeff Hartzer copyright 2006





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Written by Jeff Hartzer , The Poet's Corner appears monthly in Albuquerque's South Valley Ink.



Jeff Hartzer, MEd. presents a unique view of poetry as a magical gift waiting to be opened . Jeff is a poet, writer, teacher, and the Executive Director of the AirDance ArtSpace. ( 1-505-842-9418).

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