Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Habit Forming

Habit Forming

How eager we are to make habit,
to take the new and transform it into the rote.
Where to turn and which awning to park beneath.
What number corresponds to your home
and the homes that your friends now live in.

Disquieting, disruptive,
our encounters with the unfamiliar ruffle us.
The consciousness rears up, wants to run
into some comfortable, imagined future.

What would we miss
if we could conjure habits from acts
we are yet unaccustomed to.

Miniature victories. The erasure of darkness
from a map. Scrutiny of time, and attentiveness
to where we are going. The strangeness
of the sky here,
how uncluttered and pale it is.
Variance in temperature,
the air warming slightly after snowfall.

Once we learn it well enough we will forget it.


  1. oh I like this, the whole idea that new actions are the habits of the future...

  2. I love this as I frequently try to not do things I am printing this and posting it on my wall to remind myself why I strain myself xoxo

  3. Some habits are good, others are just way of getting stuck in a rut, never getting out and experiencing the beautiful unfamiliar. Beautiful poem!

  4. Hi Hannah,
    Your poem makes me re-think my habits, and the rote-ness of familiarity. For example, I always feel slightly out of kilter if I don't sit in my usual place in the work break room- such a simple thing, but it's indicative of a tendency to ritualize everyday encounters with people and places. Your poem makes me want to embrace the new, and resist the rote. One of the things I like about taking walks in my neighborhood, though- even though the route is familiar, changes in temperature, season, and quality of light, always bring something new; so maybe it's more of a factor of paying closer attention.

  5. I really like this poem, Hannah! It resonates, the concept that new places/thoughts stay in our minds, but the more accustomed we grow to them, the more we tend to forget them. Profound.


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