This tiny poem from Joy Harjo has been sticking with me all week.
She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.
These were the same horses.
First I laughed, thinking it was clever.
Then I woke up the next day thinking of all the people and ideas and experiences in my life that match this description.
Then I started to consider all of the other categories I’ve created for sorting things over time, and how rare it is for anything to sit within a single column.
Dear ones, we long to make sense of our world, to box it up in tidy sections. But how much richness there is in the overlap, in the realm of Sometimes and It Depends.
As we create our groups, as we analyze and navigate and process, let’s leave some room for the layers and shifts. We need not settle for single dimensions.
Let us give thanks for the In-Betweens, the Boths, the Ands – whether people, or poems, or horses.
I’ve been diving into the poetry of Ada Limon lately – and lo and behold, she is our new Poet Laureate! One of her volumes of work begins with this reference to Joy Harjo, whose term as Laureate is just ending.