...My back to the hickory, I sit
Hours in the damp wood, listening.
It never ebbs...
..I forget things, as I have forgotten time.
Death, love, ambition....
...My heart is quieted, at rest. I scarcely feel it.
Little rivers, running everywhere,
Have blunted the knife. Cool, cool,
they wash above the bones.
Two days ago I asked Mary when she was going to speak of rest, and here she does. I don't look ahead to what poems are coming, so it's as if Mary is there, saying, just wait, just listen, the answers will come.
So following my question of rest, was a poem of killing. In the midst of killing, of chicken bones thrown into the creek by careless picnickers whose hands yield the knife of suffering and destroying earth, there are rivers of life flowing everywhere. By them, if we slow down and listen hard enough, we can discern the bubbling of life that can dull the pain.
Rumi says in his poem of the day, "The Many Wines" in the book, "A Year With Rumi" that every object and every being is a jar full of delight, but cautions that should we choose the purest, "not the ones adulterated with fear, or some urgency about "what's needed." If Rumi were to sit down with Mary, would they then say go only to beautiful, pristine water ways, or would they, like the Buddha, say listen, listen, clean, not clean, it's all here, now. We just need to empty ourselves so wholeness and healing can flow in.
Perhaps then we are called to listen to creeks that don't sing anymore. Here in Florida the springs are drying up or gaining pollution so that the life is choked from them. My own beloved Ichetucknee became unswimmable for me this past year. What do I hear in it's gurgling, a death throw? Or life, though dirty, emerging persistently, or at least leaving behind scars where beauty once flowed?
Cormac McCarthy in " The Road," writes, ""Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patters that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery."
The sound of life, of mystery, is ever with us, even if it is as fossilized bones on some ancient dry river bed.
What do you mourn for that is no more? Do you find peace or comfort in nature that dulls the ache of once was or what could be?