Everything has already been said and done. But, then, if this is so, why do we need more poems in the world? I once read a Jane Hirshfield interview where she said something quite wonderful. She essentially said we have to keep writing because it’s every generation’s job to put in the present vernacular poems that are called upon for rites of passage, such as poems read at weddings or funerals. I hadn’t thought of this before. Your ordinary citizen should be able to go to the library and find a poem written in the current vernacular, and the responsibility for every generation of writers is to make this possible. We must, then, rewrite everything that has ever been written in the current vernacular, which is really what the evolution of literature is all about. Nothing new gets said but the vernacular keeps changing.
For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about my message for our worship night last Sunday. We landed on the theme “Moments.” When I met with some of the Creative Arts people to talk through it a few of them recommended I read a recent book on a similar subject by Carlos Whittaker. His book is called Moment Maker and turned out to be a surprisingly engaging experience. Whittaker reads like a young Bob Goff (a bit crazy with a healthy dose of witty humor). He’s the perfect guy to write a book about making moments happen. As you can see in the video above, he has a track record of crazy stories happening around him.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from his book: