"For many years now, I have been in a love affair with yes," says Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, poet laureate of Colorado's Western Slope. "It began, I suppose, with an invitation from my teacher, Joi Sharp. She asked me, Can you say yes to the world as it is? I haven’t lived my life the same ever since."
On her website Trommer explains her approach:
"Yes. And. These are two of the most powerful words in the English language, and when used together, they can produce more magic than abracadabra. . . . Perhaps the most transformative application, however, is to use Yes, And when we don’t like what’s happening in our lives or in the world. I’ve noticed a human impulse to say NO! when we are hurt, frustrated or angry. No to terrorism. No to accidents. No to pain. No to war. But no doesn’t get us very far. When we scream No! as the glass vase is falling, it does not prevent the shattering."
"More productive (and honest) is to say Yes to the world as it is. It doesn’t mean we approve what is happening, we just acknowledge that it is happening," she explains. "From that real, grounded place comes the And. The And is how we move our own story (and the world’s story) forward."
The author of several poetry books and recordings, her latest collection is The Less I Hold. Her poetry has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including O Magazine and A Prairie Home Companion. She’s taught poetry at Craig Hospital, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Weehawken Arts, and Camp Coca Cola. She's winner of the Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, leader of Talking Gourds, and curates Heard of Poets, an interactive poetry map of Western Colorado poets. For over 10 years she's written a poem each day, and shares them on her blog, A Hundred Falling Veils.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer recommends three good books on Yes:
Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a way to get there from here)
by Bruce H. Lipton and Steve Bhaerman
It’s easy to find stories of how we’re destroying the earth, easy to point to all the ways we’re doomed, but not many people can articulate a cohesive, inspiring comprehensive and believable road map for healing the planet and its inhabitants.
The first time I “read” this book was in my car on CD, and I remember cheering out loud for this remarkable account of biology and evolution and where we might go from here. The main premise: In the same way that a body can experience “spontaneous remission”—a near miraculous healing that occurs when an individual makes a significant change in their beliefs and behaviors—so, too, might humanity, which is basically a body of people.
“We are the answer to our own prayers,” write the authors. Though it is part science, part history, and part investigative journalism, this is most undeniably a love story, as they say right up front, “for the entire Universe: you, me and every living organism.”
Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
translated by Daniel Ladinsky
With ecstatic poems from Sufi, Hindu and Christian mystics, this is a collection of invitations to fall more deeply in love with the world, with your life, with what is possible. In the face of grief, longing, despair, isolation, and doubt, these poets across centuries, continents and cultures find a remarkably similar redemption in devotion, love and radical compassion. Ladinsky’s renderings are playful and contemporary. I’ve memorized dozens of poems from this collection and carry them with me everywhere. They’ve become like good friends I can lean on, partners to dance with when I don’t know where to step next.
On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
by Mark Nepo
In the intro to this book, essentially a daybook, Wayne Muller writes, “Be willing to be surprised. Life may already be more miraculous than you ever imagined.”
I was indeed surprised by this book. I received it from a friend when I was going through a difficult time. Little did I know then how much more difficult life was going to get! And during those days when I wanted to say no to life, no to the choices I had made, no to the ways I felt I’d been mistreated, no, no, no, no, no, no, this book helped me to say yes. In fact, it became a lifeline. Every morning I would read the passage for the day and consider the suggestions for meditation. Every day, I felt the wisdom and beauty infuse me. Every day, this book seemed to meet me exactly where I needed to be met. A book written with remarkable vulnerability, it allowed me to say yes again, to meet each day with vulnerability and courage of my own.