I’ve been working at a breakneck pace, feeling skittered and scattered and running to keep up. 

Every morning begins with 10 minutes of meditation which – believe me – is hard to achieve. Monkey mind jumping with dream leftovers and to-do lists. An ache in my shoulder and a growl in my tummy. But it helps me stay focused and productive through the day.

Every evening ends with reading. Sometimes I can barely keep my eyes open for more than 3 minutes. Other times I stay up way too late, soaking up the quiet and just one more chapter or poem.

Now it’s autumn, and it’s darker in the mornings and colder in the evenings. The bookends of my day seem even more vital and sustaining. Morning meditation as necessary as water. Evening reading as embracing as a mother’s hug.

I thought of this poem. My gift to you today.

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

by Wallace Stevens

The house was quiet and the world was calm. 

The reader became the book; and summer night 

Was like the conscious being of the book. 

The house was quiet and the world was calm. 

The words were spoken as if there was no book, 

Except that the reader leaned above the page, 

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be 

The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom 

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. 

The house was quiet because it had to be. 

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind: 

The access of perfection to the page. 

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world, 

In which there is no other meaning, itself 

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself 

Is the reader leaning late and reading there. 

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt 

I lead writing workshops in the Bay Area, and spend much of my so-called free time writing. To support my avocation (and my family) I sell residential real estate in San Francisco; for more about that visit RealEstateTherapy.org or CynthiaCummins.com.