(an ode to this poem)
Advice to Beginners
by Joann Liu
Arise. Keep on rising. Look out the window.
One night you will see them and they will be just as magnificent as people said they would be.
Take a walk. Wear warm boots. Try not to let the cold air affect your heart. Learn to layer. The longer you’ve been here, the more songs you will sing around a fire. Be prepared.
Eat elk. Eat moose. Drink angelwater tea to remind you of home. Ignore the snow. Embrace the snow. Either way, an inch (or more) will be permanent by Halloween. Button up.
Sit close to the wood stove. Lie down on thick carpets. Climb to the top of a summit until you can see the mountain range—even if it is from the slight hill behind your house.
Deny apathy. Tell it to take a hike. When others disagree with you, stretch on your toes and grow. Measure your strength through the moments you were strong enough to choose differently.