Sunday, March 21, 2010

About habits. And beginnings.

There is something about habits.

I have just resurrected an old habit of stepping into my blue walking shoes first thing in the morning. No slumber (well....), no shower, no breakfast. Out you go, girl! This is March, the mornings have opened their eyes again. When I stopped my healthy morning habit last autumn, the sun was far more lazy than me. It was just too dark.

There is something about habits. They make you do it, whatever the “it” is. This morning rain tapped on the roof, the air was gray and misty. I still tied my shoe laces. The habit told me to.

Inside my coat pockets, together with tissues and old cinema tickets are little scraps of paper, crinkled and creased from wear and tear. They are my walking poems, my dialogue partners and company, and speak with me through layers of cloth, skin and bone. Some whisper with intensity, others shout with gentle sounds.

I am reading Mary Oliver’s The Journey these days. When I say days, I mean the plural. The words speak wonder, but they need time to penetrate my skull and that brain bark that surrounds my mind.

There is something about habits. I have bad habits as well, and one in particular called anxiety. It runs as a darkened river through the landscape of my existence. In times yonder the reason for acquiring it was real enough. But as habits go, I internalized the experience and turned it into automatic thinking. It sounds simple. It is not. I could write libraries about it.

This blog is about poetry and how to let words speak their power by introducing new voices into my life. Voices, I might add, that I also recognize as my own. We all come from the same waters.

“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,...”, writes Mary Oliver. I have repeated the line over and over. One day. I finally knew. What I had to do. And began.

This blog is also a beginning.


  1. Gratulerer med bloggen, Grete!
    Congratulations on the blog, Grete!

    What a lovely beginning... and on the first day of Spring, at the Spring Equinox, at that, when night and day are of equal length.

    May that be the blessing and the goal reached: balance... Tusen Takk, Thank you warmly, for your offering of one of those deep tools you have found for yourself, as a gift to the world. I look forward to learning and sharing with you and others here.

    As someone who falls out of healthy habits on a regular basis, and nearly always very soon after starting a new healthy habit, I offer a poem by Rumi, which instills hope in me, reminding us that there is always a new beginning available to us. Just like our beloved Alf Prøysen, "Du skal få en dag i mårrå...". Rumi:

    Come, come, whoever you are
    lover of leaving.

    It doesn’ matter

    ours is not a caravan of despair


    even if you have broken your vow
    a thousand times.
    ~ Rumi

    Maybe beginnings are the most generous thing we have access to in this world. I know I need them. But they be well balanced by good habits, thank you for that reminder.

    Blessings for a Lively and deep Life to this Blog and to each and all!

    Klem / Hug, Astri

  2. Kjæreste Astri -

    Thank You - for lovely words, for support and inspiration, for a poem that will definitely end up in one of my pockets....

    Hugz - Grete

  3. Grete, I come back today to read you more. You yourself have a careful construction as a poem. I read you to discover what is beneath.

    Have a wonderful walk this morning. It is morning here...I suppose, you will have to wait until tomorrow to use up these well wishes.


  4. Erin -

    Yes, what is beneath indeed?

    Thank you for well wishes on my walks. This morning I wondered across green fields in a country that has given me so much but which is not mine by birth. But then, does anyone own a country?