Giving Our Life a Center: Part I


Focus: What is the Center of My Life?

Please take up this activity for 35 to 45 days.Please stop 2 to 3 times per day and ask yourself the following questions. Please take brief notes so that you can begin to notice patterns.

Reflecting back on the last period of time:

  • Based upon how I spent my time, employed my energy, what I thought/worried about and spoke about, what was the center of my life?
  • In what ways did this discovered center of my life intersect with what I say/ feel/hope my life is about? In what ways did it not?
  • How do I understand/reconcile/explain/justify any differences?
  • How will I take what I learned into my next period of observation?



Our Whole Life

Adrienne Rich

Our whole life a translation
the permissible fibs

and now a knot of lies
eating at itself to get undone

Words bitten thru words

meanings burnt-off like paint
under the blowtorch

All those dead letters
rendered into the oppressor’s language

Trying to tell the doctor where it hurts

like the Algerian
who walked from his village, burning

his whole body a cloud of pain
and there are no words for this

except himself


Young and Old

R.S. Thomas

Cold sea, cold sky:
This is how age looks
At a thing. The people natter,
The wind blows. Nothing they do
Is of worth. The great problems
Remain, stubborn, unsolved.
Man leaves his footprints
Momentarily on a vast shore.

And the tide comes,
That the children play with.
Ours are the first questions
They shelve. The wind is the blood
In their veins. Above them the aircraft
Domesticate the huge sky.


Poems by Robert Creeley

I Know a Man

As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for
christ’s sake, look
out where yr going.


The End

When I know what people think of me
I am plunged into my loneliness. The grey

hat bought earlier sickens.
I have no purpose no longer distinguishable.

A feeling like being choked
enters my throat.