Friday, January 29, 2010

Emily Dickinson and Being Organized



I've previously blogged about Emily Dickinson, and as I mentioned before, you should go to this site, now, and take the time to scroll through all the pages.


There in one of her letters I also found this wonderful sentence, where Ms. Dickinson (I just don't feel like I can or should call her Emily) is talking about self-organization. The imagery of this just really struck me and I had to share it; hope it resonates with someone who also is passionate about words.

I had no monarch in my life, and cannot rule myself; and when I try to organize, my little force explodes and leaves me bare and charred.


I know well the feeling--not wishing to be in charge, preferring to be directed, but by default having to take charge...then getting overwhelmed.  I love how with her use of the words "explodes" and "charred" she makes me think of the notion of having something blow up in your face when, possibly, that phrase per se did not yet exist at the time when Ms. Dickinson wrote.

And what did she mean by the enigmatic "my little force"?  Today we rightfully perceive Ms. Dickinson as a powerful force, a veritable writing hurricane.  Yet I am certain that she viewed her life as modest, and her energy petite.

Any UltraRunning connection?  Sure--when a run is not going well, and I feel sluggish, I can't help but ponder on the term "my little force" and hope that whatver I have in the tank will be sufficient for the day's effort.  I will say that I've been at this game awhile now, and as a veteran trail runner I know that there will be strong runs and there will be not-so-strong runs.  It's all part of the experience, so when I'm struggling I don't get all wrapped around the axle, anxiously wringing my mental hands.  I just realize that it'll get better and that my little force will indeed be sufficient.

(photo from http://www.unc.edu/~gura/dickinson/index.html )

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