There are some that say a routine is stale,
a repetition of empty action
that mimics true motion, one that pales
when compared to the instant reaction

of the soul to each moment as it comes,
fleeting and ephemeral as faint scent
on a night breeze. True, some often succumb,
wishing to distill a sacred event

into a formula that, like a false
panacea, loses it potency
so quickly, leaving only a shadow.
But routine awareness is like a waltz;

knowing the steps does not ever mean
forgetting you are dancing; even though
you have heard the same song a thousand times,
it does not grow tired or seem obscure;

and well-worn verses with familiar rhymes
when held in the mouth like an old Latour
are reinterpreted with each new taste,
their meanings deepened with each fresh use.

While to merely cite by rote is to waste
the mind’s energy, to simply refuse
any framework, seeking only chaos
without the borders that define it, too,

lessens the scope of one’s experience.
But a good ritual’s effect is lost
unless its spirit fills each thing you do,
the sole proof of which is self-evidence.

02 FEB 2003

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