A friend recently reintroduced me to Wendell Berry the poet farmer man. His work is a breath of fresh air, that smells a lot like clean, honest ground soil. I've been refreshed by his reminding me to remember lately. "What we need is here."
I love making them, finding them, recreating them, photographing them. I love lists.
I love words put down in dutiful order, representing tasks that take up more than just the space of a 6 letter word.
The clustered closeness of To Do lists: a profound peek into the personal priorities of time.
That sighing, brainstorming, 'what-is-everything-I-possibly-need-to-get-done" moment when what's inside the head, -bouncing, gnawing, scooping up attention- is suddenly birthed on to a page in a frenzy of scribbled ball point ink or No.2 pencil.
The creative potential of grocery lists: how many meals could you make featuring an avocado, after all?
The Shopping lists around Holidays: What began as a scrap utility bill now suddenly morphed into gadsby of dictator. Popcorn maker for Mom? Check. Light-up bug net (Batteries not included)? Check. AAA Batteries? Check. And on...
The casualness of the quickly written note, the transfer of life. When I find a discarded list in the bottom of a shopping cart or near my feet when I step out of the car, my heart leaps. I snatch the list up, delighting in a small piece of life treasure.
I am an archaeologist, observing historic cultures and people groups; I study the way the world once was, that different age and moment in which a post-it note well fulfilled it's purpose by being submitting to the scribble of a pen before the walk out the door. "I'm picking up paint. Please get your things out of the bathroom. XO "
The next moment I am a psychologist in a small windowed room with a clip board, probing the writer for memories and emotions."Your 'H's' seem a little staunch today, how are things with your mother?" I'd say.
I love the potential that comes with every library due-date slip, parking ticket and disgruntled bookmark found. I keep some, send some. Gleaning ideas for my own.
I've recently reviewed some of my own lists taken down on a post-it, a gas receipt or the 'drafts' folder on my dorky cell phone and it sparked an idea.
Below is glimpse in to my listy life. The beginning of a poetic series on planning and purpose and production.
Start Tax Prep
Give to God what is God's
Write thank you notes. Edlins/Micale/Jill
Call Court Schedule Hearing for missing license plate.