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‘agecoach’ ponderings

Messages are everywhere when you look for them

I love catching the bus to and from work every day. The freedom of not being in the driver’s seat and not having to concentrate on the road ahead is fantastic. These days travelling to work and home again means I can relax and let the world pass by. I can sit there in my seat and focus on whatever I choose: looking, listening, writing, reading, talking or emptying my mind of everything. I find this so liberating. Travelling to and from work doesn’t seem like a waste of time anymore.

This morning as I was sitting at the back of the bus I noticed the sign just above the driver’s rear vision mirror.

I turned to my husband beside me and asked, “What do you think an ‘agecoach’ is?”

He didn’t need to say anything. His facial expression said it all. I directed his gaze to where I was looking so he could make sense of my question.

We both smiled as we pondered what had happened to the ‘st’ (the bus company used to be called ‘Stagecoach’).

“Well, the driver isn’t exactly young anymore” suggested Lynsey.

“He’s right,” I thought.

I then wondered if this was a message to me. My subconscious was provoked.

I have enrolled in a distance course to complete a qualification in Career and Life Coaching. I did this just as I was about to start my new job. Consequently I have had little time to devote to my coursework in the last few weeks and it has been preying on my mind. Every night I go home with the best intentions of doing some study and every night I struggle to get beyond the basics of cooking tea, tidying up, and other mundane chores. By the time I sit back in front of my computer my mind feels dead and nothing much happens.

Seeing ‘agecoach’ reminded me that I have work to do and I have to get on with it.

My mind also wandered to something else that I had been thinking about – age. Let me explain …
Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words

I recently purchased a book called Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. As I was getting ready for work this morning I picked up this book from my bedside shelf and flicked through it to see what would grab my attention. I was looking for inspiration as I began my day.

I found myself on page 51, chapter 14, entitled ‘full moon me’. This made me stop. I read the first paragraph and had to read more. I thought about the many people who had commented to me that they thought blogging was self-indulgent claptrap and as for telling stories, well, let’s not go there. I was drawn in to Susan’s thoughts on writing about oneself.

As I write I create myself again and again
Joy Harjo

… Writing about ourselves doesn’t mean we’re self-involved. We have to start with ourselves before we can reach beyond ourselves. And whatever our intention, the way we see and write about the world always reveals who we are.

I read on even though I should have been organising myself to leave to catch the bus. I realised I would be running to catch the bus today.

… Poems aren’t simply bits of art to be whittled to perfection and admired or revered. They’re ground troopers with laser beams illuminating caverns within. They can bring messages from and about our deepest selves, broadening our respect and reverence for who we are.

We can make discoveries when we put our feelings about ourselves in words …

In poems we can not only discover more about who we are and how we feel, we can learn to like ourselves.

Susan then details an exercise she uses in her workshops which she refers to as the I am poems.

Jot down in a list the first thing you see when you ask yourself,
If I were a colour what colour would I be?
What shape would I be?
If I were a movement, what movement would I be?
What sound?
What animal?
What song?
What number?
What car?
What piece of furniture?
What food?
What musical instrument?
What place?
What element in nature?
What kind of tree?
What’s something I’m afraid of?
What’s the word hiding behind my eyes?

Put down the words I am …

Write about yourself using answers to the questions above as well as action words you’ve collected …

Just pile on words. See images. daydream with words. Wander. Go crazy defining yourself …

If you get tired of I am, start lines with
I will be
I want to be
I used to be
I let go of
I’ve forgotten
I remember
– as long as you’re writing about yourself.

So much comes tumbling out, as if we’ve been given a brush to paint a larger picture of ourselves.

In your notebook keep gathering words to write an ongoing, lifelong, rolling, ever-changing I am poem.

Source: Pages 53-56 of Poemcrazy.

On the bus this morning I started experimenting with my I am poem. This is how far I got before I looked up and got diverted by ‘agecoach’.

I am …
Not at the beginning
not at the end either.
I’m somewhere in the middle
A wonderful place to be.

Foolsgold: Making Something From Nothing and Freeing Your Creative ProcessIs this synchronicity or is my imagination running away with me? Age was definitely on my mind this morning and so was coach.

By the way, I definitely recommend the book Poemcrazy. It has really stirred me up as has her new book Foolsgold: Making Something From Nothing and Freeing Your Creative Process.

I decided to make a small collage box each day for a year with what I found on my walks — often the most ordinary, seemingly worthless bits of nothing. That’s when fool’s gold became foolsgold for me, a field around us, or state of being, where everything can be transformed by our seeing and creativity. Merged into one word, foolsgold describes a paradox, the value in what may seem to be worthless. Foolsgold reminds us to look beyond appearances, even in ourselves. What seems to loom in us most darkly may finally be what brings the most light. Everything can be transmuted by attention, play, love. (Foolsgold, page xvi)

Both books have loads of ideas and suggestions as to how you can pursue whatever creative process you want. Susan has a knack of creating inspiring and down to earth activities that anyone could engage in. Her books are full of stories that you will connect with and be inspired by. There is heaps of advice, quotes from others, and generally down to earth commonsense.

I can’t wait to experiement and learn new ways of using words as I muddle my way through these books and through life.

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5 Responses to “‘agecoach’ ponderings”

  1. on 25 Sep 2007 at 3:26 pm bronwynh

    this is great marica. I am definitely going to get Susan’s books and have a go at the “I am” poem. what are you doing with the collage box? are you creating one or decorating one from the bits you find?

  2. on 25 Sep 2007 at 3:28 pm bronwynh

    The agecoach theme would be a great story….a story of lots of different lives on an agecoach. of course my contribution would have a science fiction theme – I cant help myself. Do you want to have a go at writing it together using a wiki? we could invite others as well.

  3. on 25 Sep 2007 at 9:40 pm Marica

    Oh my gosh Bron – I haven’t got started on the collage boxes yet 🙂 I’m still working on creating things with photos and words. There is so much to explore and have fun with. I am learning heaps and loving it. I am however doing a Freeform Knitting and Crocheting workshop on Saturday!!!!! More on that later …

    I absolutely love your idea about creating an ‘agecoach’ story. Let’s do it. It would be neat if we could fill the bus with a whole variety of stories. People could add images etc. This could be an amazing experience. Setting it up in a wiki is a great idea. I’d really like to follow through on this. I’d set it up right now but I have DEANZ minutes to write up instead. Actually at the moment I avoiding them but I do need to get it done.

    Let’s email or talk via skype and work out the details and then let’s do it!!!!!!

    I can’t wait 🙂

    Love Marica

  4. on 16 Oct 2007 at 8:54 am Denice Midgley

    Hi Marica

    It seems like a lifetime ago since we were both in the same place. How are you? I have tried to email but they are returned to me, both work and home.

    I gather from your blog you are in a new work space.

    Your life sounds happier and more colourful than it was.

    I hope it is true

    Love, light and energy


  5. on 16 Oct 2007 at 1:37 pm Denice Midgley

    I love this posting – the title, the content and the inspiration.

    I am inspired to go spend some money!

    Your energy and creativity is fair oosing out of these pages Marica! You go girl!!!

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