The Magic Three

“What verbs control your life?” Pádraig Ó Tuama asks this during his introduction to “My Therapist Wants to Know about My Relationship to Work,” from Tiana Clark’s poem featured on a recent episode of Poetry Unbound. (It’s worth a listen—if only to hear Pádraig.)


READ: I am a reader and have been since I first learned. My two older siblings dangled that key before me, already school age, me pining from my four-years-away-still perspective. But at five, that door unlocked for me, and ironically the first book I read from JK Gill’s was It Happened One Day!

TEACH: My next-favorite way to fill those rainy Portland afternoons was playing school with my siblings—I’ve written about teaching so often here already, after all this enterprise is sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, so…enough said. I continue to engage with my profession wholeheartedly: I am a professional development junkie!

MOVE: I never want to slow down even though I see it happening with each year. Despite my best intentions with my Fitbit’s haptic alerts, the time I spend reading increases while the time I spend walking, hiking, practicing yoga, swimming diminishes. I tend to castigate myself for this (as my husband can attest—so sorry, honey) and mourn the loss of my stamina after a day spent mostly afoot as a substitute. It takes me longer to recover from a three-day stint than it used to take for five!

LEARN: I only hope I never stop this; I am curious by nature, and the world offers so many opportunities! Just this morning I watched an Op-Docs feature at the New York Times, “Five Days of Fear” that reinforced how shared our humanity is, whether Polish or American, we are global residents—and caring, wondering, living humans first.

Those verbs say it all: CARE, WONDER, LIVE—the magic three!

2 thoughts on “The Magic Three”

  1. I do like the idea of sharing anecdotes. They give glimpses of what is going on in our lives without going into great detail.
    I also find it takes me longer to recover from a day out than it used to.
    I can’t ever imagine a time when I want to stop learning. Things change so rapidly anymore that there are always so many new things to learn and experience.

    1. And for young writers, an anecdote is manageable—and so often the themes, the “snippets,” emerge organically, without any writing anxiety. It’s a win!

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