Day 8: Angels, Ideas and Pee

This is part of a DIY education project I’ve undertaken called The 1000-Day MFA that I learned about from writer Shaunta Grimes. You can read more about how I’m engaging with it here. By the way, there might be no rhyme or reason to how I choose the poems, essays, and short stories. Or they might, like today, have a theme. But basically, I just throw my net out to the world, and read whatever I catch.


Poem:  On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz

Essay:  Multiple Discovery (from Big Magic) by Elizabeth Gilbert

Short Story: Pee on Water by Rachel B. Glaser


On Angels “Do what you can.” The final line of this poem awakened me to the liminal spaces between day and night, and heightened my sensibilities to the possibility of messengers from further than I can imagine.


Multiple Discovery This is found in the “Enchantment” section of “Big Magic.” She describes instances where the same idea is discovered by two or more people on opposite ends of the world. She is trying to shake us free from the notion that ideas belong to us, that we made them up, and that if someone else has our same idea we have to compete for first place, or dominance, or ownership. She posits that ideas just roam around looking for human collaborators, and that it’s that partnership that brings us literature, inventions, scientific conclusions, etc.


From this essay, “There is no theft; there is no ownership; there is no tragedy; there is no problem. There is no time or space where inspiration comes from — and also no competition, no ego, no limitations. There is only the stubbornness of the idea itself, refusing to stop searching until it has found an equally stubborn collaborator (or multiple collaborators as the case may be.”


Pee on Water A gorgeous ride, in very short sentences packed with evocative images, from the beginning of time to sort of now-ish. Disturbing and illuminating. It bears multiple readings. I say, do it out loud so you don’t miss a single word of it.

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