I love Canadian author and poet Michael Crummey. I have his novels, short stories, and recently I picked up his new collection of poetry: Under the Keel Poems.
In a review of Crummey’s collection in the Quill and Quire by Liz Worth in April 2013, she had this to say about Crummmey’s collection: “These poems are striking not only for Crummey’s skillful use of language and imagery, but for his ability to capture small moments that will be immediately recognizable to most readers.”
I have to admit that I haven’t read the poems in order and that I was scanning the different sections and reading poems at random. As I was reading I was also listening to iTunes on random (sometimes this is dangerous because you never know what will start to play, like Christmas songs in July!) and one of my favourite songs happened to come on: “We’ll Make Time (Even When There Ain’t No Time)” by Hawksley Workman from his album Meat.
Stick with me: there is a connection!
I like what Liz Worth wrote in her review of Crummey’s poetry collection: “ability to capture small moments that will be immediately recognizable to most readers.”
As I was reading and listening, I was struck with the question: do we control time or does time control us? We become very busy doing (business, living, surviving) things and forget to make time for the important (nurturing and building) things.
In his poem “Getting the Marriage into Bed” Crummey creates a glimpse into a busy life of a set of parents who are busy doing things, yet don’t have time to spend together. He writes lines like, “the insatiable telephone,” “the kitchen’s . . . dishes,” and “the lost children” to show that life gets busy just living and doing the things that need to get done in a household.
Hawksley Workman writes about something very similar in his song:
“Better believe the wind will blow / It’ll try to push you down / It’ll try to pull your roots / And leave you lying on the ground.”
Yet both writers realize the importance of making time.
Crummey: “bliss is stolen / from the world in small, piercing slivers.”
Workman: “Gonna build something to last / Not to let it crumble fast/Want to be the ones left standing / After all the time has passed.”
Crummey: “You have less time than you think.”
Workman: “We’ll make time though there ain’t that much time / Oh and we’ll make love in the middle of the night.”
Crummey: “Bliss lives for bliss alone, / apply yourself to that ephemeral sliver.”
I feel that angst: needing time, yet how to make time? I’m sure that a lot of people feel this pull as well (an example of Liz Worth’s recognizable moments).
Although both men are writing about relationships (intimate relationships, really), I think this idea of making time applies to everyone. I know I get busy doing things (dishes, paperwork, marking essays, cleaning, and organizing) and forget to make time for the nourishing things (meditation, reading, building friendships, relaxing).
So I will take up the MAKE TIME challenge. I will make time. It is the season of Advent (the time of waiting and expecting and the time of hope and joy), so I plan to start making it a priority to make time to think about the season (reading, relaxing, listening to music, playing music, watching films, and meditating) and to nourish the things that make me feel whole.
Because, as you know, “You have less time than you think” (Crummey).
Indolence wants it all and gets nothing; the energetic have something to show for their lives. (Proverbs 13:4)