“Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World
The following poem by my friend Charlotte
also seems perfect for the occasion:
Can you, on the edge
of sleep frame a question
Having stumbled one night
into an unexpected dream,
can you find your way back out,
straightening your shoulders,
shaking yourself free?
As midnight bears down and restless
drivers ease themselves into the cool
night air, the exhalations of their dreams
propelling them with hissing sounds
along the city streets -- can you open
your window and welcome everything
you've lost and gained and lost and gained
again, remaining calm amid this sorrow
Can you explain to yourself, or anyone,
what your life is? And why it matters
so much now to keep on breathing?
November 9, 1999
In this next poem, the image of forsythia suggests spring,
yet I can't help thinking that the two poems belong together,
so here it is, in late summer:
It's about needing to get
where you have to go but
never quite knowing how.
It's about soft light and
after light as the sun
goes down on another day
of not knowing.
It's about the beauty and
promise and predicament
Its about finding promise
in the arms of the forsythia
as it unfolds its yellow
light -- which is enough
and never enough.
It's about the stickiness
of life on your fingers --
sometimes honey sometimes
It's about that --
about living with that.
January 7, 2000