Thursday, February 11, 2010

The "I Must" List

my be. tattoo - to remind myself to take time to just be.  My friend A and I got them together, such a sweet reminder of our friendship

A few of my friends and I have started a community group where we get together and share life with one another.  Sam says we all get together and cry... but its more than that.  We get together and encourage one another in our personal lives, our spiritual lives, and in the lives of one another.  I can honestly say, as I have shared many times at group, that I do not know where I would be without the intervention of these women in my life.

On that note, I wanted to share something with my readers, friends and family, my must list.  The name must list stems from a passage in Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.  To set up the book, a 20 year old poet writes letters to Rilke for the purpose of obtaining advice from Rilke on his poems.  The great thing is Rilke is only 28 years old, and with the knowledge he is sharing with this poet, it is also things that he is learning and growing through himself.  It is a really great read and definitely available at your local library.

I want to share this passage on here because I have been rolling it around in my head for weeks ever since we shared this at group:

You ask whether your poems are good.  You send them to publishers; you are disturbed when certain publishers reject your attempts.  Well now, since you have given me permission to advise you, I suggest that you give all that up.  You are looking outward and, above all else, that you must not do now.  No one can advise and help you, no one.

There is only one way: Go within.  Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write.  Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of you heart?  Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write?  Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write?  Dig deep into yourself for a true answer.  And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, "I must," then build your life upon it.  It has become your necessity.  Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.

I love how he phrases that one line, "in the most silent hour of your night...".  Does anyone else wake up in the middle of the night thinking, "Dude... I gotta do this."  I do.  I really do.

The past few weeks I have been making a list, a list of things that I wake up in the middle of the night, I wake up in the middle of the day and say, "I must".  I wanted to share this list and share this idea because I want to know what YOUR must list is.  My goal is to do these before the end of the year.

In no particular order:

  • make good cheese enchiladas - attempt 1, failed, attempt 2 will happen soon
  • go to a yoga class - done, want to go to more
  • sew something on my serger
  • find a yoga teacher that I like
  • pay off my discover card
  • go through all the exhibits at The Art Institute in Chicago - trip planned in May
  • make 10 pieces of clothing - 1 down
  • make a suit for Sam
  • start an etsy shop - with what, I don't really know
  • get another tattoo - a yellow rose on my shoulder
  • write one piece of poetry a month
  • make another summer reading list
  • dye some hair -not all, my hair is my natural color and I'd like just a cluster of some color somewhere on my head (Amanda?)
  • have six meaningful/getting to know you coffee dates, dinner dates or lunch dates with people I don't know
  • make it to at least six Monday Night Dance parties at the 5 spot
  • find a church in Nashville
  • wear heels once a week
  • keep my fingernails groomed - I am always picking at hang nails and messing with my nails
  • host a clothing swap
  • visit a farm
  • make pizza at home - good pizza not crappy
  • go a week without wearing pants - maybe two because a week seems easy
  • get a spray tan - laughing out loud at this one, f'real
  • start a liquor cabinet - for entertaining purposes mainly not for being drunk
  • once a month, go one day with no phone, TV, computer
  • ride my bike once a week - March through October
  • wear a ridiculously short skirt or dress in public, no tights
  • cook a whole chicken
  • bake a loaf of bread
  • plant a small garden
  • go two months without buying anything - not in a row, or maybe in a row
  • have friends over for dinner at least six times
  • spend one whole day out at the park - March through October
  • at the end of my shopping hiatus, only buy clothing that is thrifted or vintage until the end of December - Twitch Vintage, Leproust Vintage, and Lizzy Brookes I might be buying from you three a lot.
There it is.  It is a little daunting to be putting all of this out there, eek!  Oh, and I am totally open to doing any of these together, with another person.  Let me know if you are in the Nashville-ish area and I'd love to get together!

What are you must lists?  Do you think this is crazy?


  1. I don't think this is crazy at all. You are passionate and ambitious and totally capable of all of your musts for the year! Thanks for sharing them.

    On a related note, should "short skirt" night and "black bra/ white shirt" night coincide? Yikes.

  2. OK, number one, I LOVE your tattoo. I didn't know you had one. It's so cool! And I love the passage from that book. Putting it on the list! Third, I think your list is great and a genius idea!

  3. Amazing list. I have both found a yoga teacher that I love, and gotten a spray tan. I have never found a teacher that I like as much. I moved, and now everyone pales in comparison. The spray tan... sigh. I wish I could explain. The hilarity was worth it the first day... the following four days of endless scrubbing still haunt me though. I'm definitely adding a few of these to my own never edning list of lists: Coffee dates, bike rides, bread baking, etc.

  4. dude....we should totally plan a Nashville clothing swap! I have been wanting to do that FOREVER!

  5. Hey! Thank you so much for including Lizzy Brookes in your list! I really love reading your blog and must get your address soon because there have been many pieces I've wanted to send off to you this year while you're not shopping. I thought maybe it could be a "hang it" type of gift- what do you say? Or if you see something in my shop now-let me know and it's yours!

  6. Amberly9:18 AM

    I love you! Your blog is great and it inspires me to do something with my life! Can't wait to hang out with you tonight and if you want I will thaw my whole chicken!



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