Being is easy…

…but doing is more explainable.


Kimbol wearing an Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary T-shirt, on the dunes of Cape CodWhen I woke 2/3 of the way this morning, my Austin Seminary T-shirt was front of mind. I picked it up from the Admissions office at the end of spring term, faithfully promising to wear it far from Austin. When I promise, I commit, and I have worn the shirt as I traveled to Wilmington NC, to Cape Cod, and on a few long drives. But so far my only conversation involving said shirt was in an Austin pre-op room while I was serving as my mom’s wingman; the nurse is Presbyterian, and so was more interested in my journey than beginning seminary herself.

So this morning I started debating whether I would harvest more brand-awareness fruit on my upcoming Santa Fe trip if I wore the shirt in transit, or to class. And with that my brain wandered off to introducing myself… “Hi, I’m Kimbol.” “What do you do?” “I’m a poet.”

One really isn’t supposed to say that out loud, you know. Unless one is Robert Frost, or maybe Billy Collins. Even Maya Angelou is thought of first as Wise Person and only later as a poet.

That’s fine. I’m amenable, conversationally speaking, to avoiding my poet-ness.

After all, one of the chief things I’ve been doing lately is being. It’s a long-standing interest of mine. Part of what pulled me into the Earthsea Cycle when I was in sixth grade is its combination of heroes’ journeys and its exploration of the tensions inherent in action.

Where is the balance between resting in contemplation and necessary action?

And how do you know what’s best to do unless you know who and whose you are?

But my recent practice of “being” does not lend itself to conversations. Well, maybe the important midnight-to-3am ones, where we have time and space to dig deep and spread our shared thoughts wide. But not the kind of conversation where we’re all standing around with a cube of cheese on a cracker plus two fingers’-worth of wine. Those chats inevitably center around “doing.”

So there you go. Poet it is.

I think I’ll engage it as an exercise in humility. I’m a poet because I write poetry; the evaluation thereof is a separate concern. Or, said differently, even if few ever see my poems I’ll still be writing them. It’s the one thing I can’t seem to stop doing.

Which, come to think of it, takes the inexplicable and explains it. Doing is more explainable.

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