on being - gregory orr

last week i finished the gregory orr interview of on being. he said SO much dope stuff. i realized he quotes people like i quote people. i definitely couldn’t keep up and thought… omg is that what it’s like when i talk to people? #yikes! but also i loved it so…. #shrugemoji

anyway, two things he said really stuck out to me, both from emerson:

the first was this idea of creative reading. just like there’s creative writing, there is creative reading.

Emerson says there is creative reading as well as creative writing.

I think what we do is, we read, we look — when we’re reading poems, when we’re listening to songs — we’re looking for the things that will sustain us. We’re trying to creatively — in creative reading, we’re trying to find what it is that’s true and deep and sustaining our spirits and the dignity of our own world.

i love this idea. it bring so much more energy and life to reading. as soon as i heard him say it, i knew that this is how i read. reading for me isn’t a passive process. i am always actively making connections and meaning in and across what i’m reading. i am linking parts of the book (i only read a few articles a week these days) to itself as well as to other books and ideas i already know.

there is SO much creatively here. i love it. i love thinking about how authors i’m reading may have or might be in (even across centuries) conversation with each other. i love linking concepts from one person/place to another. anyway, yes, creative reading. love it.

the second idea was this line:

Again, Emerson, he says to himself, somewhere, he says “Make your own bibles” — gather together all the poems and fragments and stuff that have shaken your spirit and sustained it. Create your own bibles. That’s a job that we have, it seems to me.

yes! we must create our own bibles! (sidenote: did you know that lots of the new testament bible was written hundreds of years after jesus died? can you imagine someone writing up your life story in 2419? now take away the internet and imagine again lol) i love the idea that we have to make our own meaning in this world. i have found that to be a deeply true reality and one that many people suffer for lack of knowing.

the belief that someone else’s value system (including our parents’) is going to hold true for us is folly as far i’ve seen. that doesn’t mean there won’t be overlap between what’s meaningful for us and what was meaningful in the past. but, imo, it means that the new meaning system must be pressure tested! it fan’t be assumed or taken for granted.

and a great way to pressure test it is to collect words that speak to you. and then to come back to them over time and see how your actions and choices are or aren’t aligned with those words.

so good. thank you, gregory orr! i am excited to get into your poetry.

words / writing / post-processing
386w / 10min /