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Happy 2nd Anniversary, Puff Of Smoke Poems

Wow. Lucky that Puff Of Smoke isn’t a person. Distracted by real life, I forgot that yesterday was our 2nd anniversary. I knew it was around here somewhere, but the end of the month arrived before I noticed. WordPress had to remind me.

Some days I wonder how long I’ll keep at this daily(ish) poem practice. I worry about becoming repetitive, or trite, or falling into the trap of continuing because I don’t like to quit commitments. All I can say for certain is today I’ve got something to say. And that I keep at it because I keep learning new lessons. Or the same lessons over and over.

What am I learning here? Big lessons about commitment and creativity and community. And the capacity for surprise.

I’m quietly amazed that I’ve stuck with this for two years.

The other surprise is community. I mostly think of this practice as talking to myself. But this handful of readers who’ve stumbled in and stayed is a constant joy—I love these odd little relationships with people I’ll likely never meet, in different corners of the world, reading and responding to these poems.

Most of all, I’m taking—and teaching myself—a class in creativity.

That sounds Pretentious. But that’s the exact opposite of what I mean by creativity. These lessons, they are not about fame, not about fortune, not about Creativity in Capital Letters. What I’m learning is about living an everyday, ordinary, happy creative life. The habit of showing up, writing a poem each day, keeps showing me the nature of being creative—better than any book or class ever could. I am learning the ebb and flow of it, the constant returning. I love how, even at low tide, I find something interesting when I walk the morning beach—a pearled shell or a hidden pocket of words in a tide pool. A treasure I didn’t know existed until I went looking. A treasure I can’t name until I write it down, again.

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