Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Abe Lincoln

When I was writing about Lincoln last night, I had a memory of a poem that I had read when I was in grade school. I have it copied down somewhere and had the idea that it was written by a student, because it was published in one of those Weekly Reader type magazines that we used to get each week.
Since I didn't want to look for it, but I wanted to read it again, I decided to . . . that's right . . . Google it! I remembered the first line and was surprised that when I typed in "If Nancy Hanks" and the poem popped up.
It was written by Rosemary Benet and is called, Nancy Hanks. Even though it is simple, I remembered it all of these years and had fun reading it again. I hope you enjoy it, too.
If Nancy Hanks
Came back as a ghost,
Seeking news
Of what she loved most,
She'd ask first
"Where's my son?
What's happened to Abe?
What's he done?"
"Poor little Abe,
Left all alone
Except for Tom,
Who's a rolling stone;
He was only nine
The year I died.
I remember still
How hard he cried."
"Scraping along
In a little shack,
With hardly a shirt
To cover his back,
And a prairie wind
To blow him down,
Or pinching times
If he went to town."
"You wouldn't know
About my son?
Did he grow tall?
Did he have fun?
Did he learn to read?
Did he get to town?
Do you know his name?
Did he get on?"

Spiritual reading, wrote 500 words, 15 minutes in the sunshine (and it was really hot today), reporting - check.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Poet Abe Lincoln

I caught a little part of a PBS special about President Lincoln tonight. I haven't really studied his life, just what I learned in school, but in those few minutes, I learned something about Mr. Lincoln that I didn't know.

He wrote poetry.

The show told about how in 1844, he revisited his childhood home, where he had lost his mother to death, years before. Afterward, he penned a poem about it. I'm including the lines they repeated in the show, if you'd like to read all of it, plus others, go to Abe Lincoln poetry.

Near twenty years have passed away
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
And playmates loved so well.

Where many were, but few remain
Of old familiar things;
But seeing them, to mind again
The lost and absent brings.

The friends I left that parting day,
How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And half of all are dead.

I hear the loved survivors tell
How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell,
And every spot a grave.

I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
I'm living in the tombs.

The show continued by saying that Lincoln didn't consider himself much of a poet - I would have to disagree. I believe Abe still mourned deeply for his mother, even after all of those years and that pain comes through in his poetry.

Mr. Lincoln found, that for the rest of his life, words would be important to him. Like so many others, maybe writing helped him through his bouts of depression. He's known for many things, so maybe his writing gets overlooked, but how many of us could not repeat at least a few of his famous words? (Fourscore and seven years ago . . .) What a legacy.

I'm inspired to do better when I read of people who struggled and overcame. In spite of how I may feel about his political life and decisions, as a fellow writer, I have great respect.

Thank you, Mr. President, you are one of us. (and if you are one of us - you know exactly what I'm talking about).

Goals accomplished: 500 words plus written, 15 minutes in the sunshine, read 15 minutes from Things As They Really Are by Neal Maxwell, reported. Check.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is it 21 or 28?

How many days does it take to form a habit?

Some say 3 weeks, some say 4 . . .

I've been writing on this blog every day for 24 days - in between the two goals.

It may not seem like much, but to me, it is an accomplishment. I have trouble sticking to anything for very long. Not because I don't want to stick to things. I'm a great goal setter and list/plan maker. I'm even a good starter -
exercise, organization, spiritual goals, health goals, writing - I start with a bang and I go, go, go, go, half-go, quarter-go, miss, miss, miss, miss - give up. Then I flounder for awhile, until that bug hits me again, and I start making plans and setting goals again.

Why? I'm not sure. I haven't always been this way. In fact, I have accomplished great amounts of things at different times in my life - things that even amazed me. But not lately.

Lately, everything is a struggle. I think I've finally figured out why.

God has been trying to tell me something.

He's been trying to tell me to get to the doctor.

He's been trying to answer my prayers, by getting me the help my body needs.

I haven't been listening - but I'm listening now.

I'm going to use my sticking to goals as a bit of a barometer - to see if I'm getting better. As I undergo the treatments that I need to help me heal, how well I do the little things daily toward my goals, will be my gauge.

And I'm only choosing 3 goals - each of them rather small and easy to accomplish. The point is that I let myself  have little successes consistently for now. When I'm feeling better, I will go for bigger goals.

Yes, this goes against my nature - but my natural tendency hasn't worked as of late, so small and few is it - for now.

  1. I will write every day (beyond the blog and beyond my journal). I will write at least 500 words toward a "professional project" each day.
  2. I will spend 15 minutes in the sun. (Walking if possible, sitting on the porch, if not)
  3. I will spend 15 minutes reading/studying spiritual writing each day.
I'll report each day at the end of my blog - so I guess reporting is another goal.

I'm going to make a chart now - a very simple chart (I tend to overdo). I love charts . . .