Sunday, April 11, 2010

Daily Reading, Daily Practice

Day 61 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.

Several people I know are reading scripture, because it is Sunday. One poet friend regularly posts of bit of her daily scripture reading at Facebook. Her scripture is the Bible, generally the New Testament.

Another friend today posted her Zen reading for the day.

Yet another, a Catholic poet friend, reads from a book of daily meditations--daily--and truly reflects upon it at breakfast with her husband. It has become a kind of daily practice of their religion that also honors their marriage.

I have before me a sweet book called Daily Meditations for Busy Dads, by Patrick T. Reardon. That is the spine title, and the cover and title page specify Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Dads, as some meditation books do not provide scripture, just the thoughts of the writer. Reardon's book has family vignettes, followed by a bit of pertinent scripture at the bottom of the page. I also have Daily Meditations (with Scripture) for Busy Moms, by Patricia Robertson. They are published by ACTA Publications in Chicago, and I acquired them when I wrote a little column on neighborhood news for the Lerner papers there. Patrick T. Reardon was a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and lived in my neighborhood, so he was "neighborhood news" for the Lerner paper as well as big news. Last year he wrote the Burnham Blog in celebration of the Burnham Plan Centennial in Chicago.

Another writer, Larry Heinemann, of Paco's Story and Cooler by the Lake, also lived in our neighborhood, and I remember chatting with him while we all painted an underpass with our children in a lovely beautification project involving Chicago's "city in a garden" slogan. It's still there, I think, or was the last time I visited, chipped and fading, but cheerful and sweet. I am especially fond of it because at the center of it was my son's design, carrots and other vegetables and flowers radiating out kaleidoscopically, surrounded then by other greenery and our hand prints in many colors.

On Friday, an old friend came to town, the town we both grew up in, and the one I have returned to, and we went walking and talking. He had forgotten that he once took me to a Transcendental Meditation event, or I am mistaken in my own memory, but he had also forgotten I lived in his apartment in Chicago for the month of September 1981, in a spare room vacated by pianist who had just gone on tour with Mel Torme, while I was waiting for my own place. Lots of Chicago leases start on October 1. And that is the way daily meditations, or daily writing practice, like this book blog, can spiral wildly in time and topic.

Because it is National Poetry Month, many poets are writing a poem a day in celebration. I am one of them. Some of the poems are very, very bad, but some will survive. I'll let them sit, look again, revise, and send them out. It's a kind of daily practice.

Sometimes I do it instead of church, in my own back yard, like Emily Dickinson:

In the name of the Bee--
And of the Butterfly--
And of the Breeze--Amen!


Patrick T. Reardon said...

Thanks for the mention. Pat Reardon

Kathleen said...

So glad you stopped by! I hope all is well.