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Who needs a pep talk? Me, for one.  Ever tried feeling good about yourself? Lots of us aren’t that good at it. In fact, many of us are amateurs. This year I’ve needed lots of pep talks. My friend Lorie, of the Love, Hope, Trust blog, has a wooden painting in her office that says, “The Work is Hard, but You Are Strong.” Have I told you this already? The late poem nights begin to run together. Anyhow, pep talks. Often, I call my mom and puke my problems out to her. She wipes them away like baby spittle. After that, I lean on my tall bough, Husbandpants. Then I seek out my homies, the baddest girlfriends in the whole damn town. After that I get cuddles from the babies, and after that I steal from my muses.

What are your go-to pep talks? Earlier today, at work, I had occasion to reread Song of Myself and that’s a quick, sexy slide from “I” to “We”, from reflection in the pond to human. I like some sci-fi, too, as our great imagining.

On Brainpickings not too long ago, I read that Ray Bradbury wrote: “I use a library the same way I’ve been describing the creative process as a writer — I don’t go in with lists of things to read, I go in blindly and reach up on shelves and take down books and open them and fall in love immediately. And if I don’t fall in love that quickly, shut the book, back on the shelf, find another book, and fall in love with it. You can only go with loves in this life.” “You can only go with loves in this life.” I love a writer who is willing to be hokey. He’s right, though, you can only go with loves in this life. It is alright that this year was hard. It is okay to say, “Yeah, I struggled with that.” Yeah, that is okay. My friend Kathy, the beautiful artist, gave me a book today: Take Joy, by Jane Yolen. It is remarkable in its wisdom. She says that “joy in writing can be akin to joy in life.” The lessons of this book are many. Among the many is that everyday writing should first come from love. So, tonight, I attempt a love song. Again.

Here’s what today brought. Sorry if it’s braggy:

Long Song for Everyday Olympians

You are so confident that you decided this, year, despite the surgeries, this would be a good year to get a puppy. You are the Monarch of your own nation. You win the bronze in getting tights on a two year-old, and are favored for gold in midnight thermometer reading.

Queen of this creek, wrap up your problems and give them free healthcare. Build backyard monuments and put on shows on the daily, in spite of your rigorous training schedule.  You make art and love on the weekends, and sometimes Wednesdays. You’re camera-ready in your slippers and homemade facials. Keep it up with those bananas.

You mother with the best of them and I love you. I love you. You’re expected to place in pep talks and backrubs. You borrow heavily from muses. You drink in holy bubbles and birth babies. You need ten thousand calories of smiles, just to maintain your training. You dispense meaningful handfuls of crackers and simmer art in your mind crock.

The greatest thing is, you control all the messages in this nation house. You are the dj of good sense. You are in charge of all explorations West of the driveway and South of the Big Rock. Who wins? We don’t know yet, but we know we are striving, and we know we are bold. We take soil of the mind and plant lands. Take the joys. Take them, they are ours.

This couch is a podium, and their giggles are gold dust. Bend your head and take the medals. One day these wee ones will face down the mountain, and when the time comes, fly.

*********************************** Well, that’s as good as it gets tonight. Happy Sunday, poem friends.