Start Close In

by Josh

Just Do It

A poster I once made to motivate my housemates to do more dishes – with little success

I have half an hour until twelve o’clock on a day that has been un-good so far.
After getting a late start, I spent most of this precious morning watching fail-videos on YouTube.
I don’t feel especially inspiring today. Not at all in a place to write something that would be worthy of someone elses time to read.
To make up for it, I will share with you a poem by David Whyte that has been inspiring me immensely these last weeks.
So I apologize if I don’t put in a lot of effort or fancy words. Today is just about taking the step. Doing what I said I would do even if I don’t feel like it.
Ticking the boxes. Name it whatever you want, but it is still better than inaction and quiet self-loathing.
Far too many times I relate to myself as my feelings, my opinions or physical states rather than as my word.
I said I would write and article every week, so I will write an article every week.

Start Close In – David Whyte
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third
start with the first
close in
the step you don’t want to take

Start with
the ground you know,
the pale ground
beneath your own feet
your own
way of starting
the conversation

start with your own
give up on other
people’s questions
don’t let them
smother something

To find
another’s voice
your own voice
wait until
that voice
becomes a private ear
to another

Start right now,
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

So let’s imagine, I was to follow the advice, or rather the command of that poem, what was I to do?
Cleaning the cat’s litterbox is a step I don’t want to take, but I’m not entirely sure whether it is really a step I can call my own. I could, but it is not something that falls in the category of “my own heroics”.
Writing falls into that category. This may not be a heroic piece, and most of it is just copied from someone that inspires me, but it is a small step forward on that journey of writing.