Friday, June 18, 2010

Forty Years

for forty years

the sheets of white paper have

passed under my hands and I have tried

to improve their peaceful

emptiness putting down

little curls little shafts

of letters words

little flames leaping..

forty years

and again this morning as always

I am stopped as the world comes back

wet and beautiful I am thinking

that language

is not even a river

is not a tree is not a green field

is not even a black ant traveling

briskly modestly

from day to day from one

golden page to another.

Yesterday Mary spoke of her 40 years of listening and how a few words of prose and poetry come to her as gifts. Yet the words seem to stand in the way of her total melding with life. She listens and flows with all that is, and then when she writes, she becomes human, separate. In the very act of sharing her heart's entwinement with animals, plants, and the earth, she must unravel what it means to be human, and become alone. Is her experience so different than my experience in writing this morning? In you reading these words? What are we doing not out in the beautiful wet morning?

I am just back from the wet morning - a thunderstorms evidence sparkling about and my shirt soaked through with summer's humidity. Along my path I encountered a still living armadillo on the side of the road. She suffered a crushing blow, but was still somewhat conscious. I must write, I must share, I must witness, this next typed letter no more precious than the ants swarming around her. I use words to feed my human colony to know of my heart ache over her suffering, and of my appreciation that Alachua County Animal Services will send someone out to help her. Words serve us, though the calling to serve means we step back and let our heart and mind focus on tasks and know the pain of separation from the beloved earth.

How do words serve you? How do you use words to serve?

1 comment:

  1. Tee Lee said: I think I try to avoid the cliche, which I associate with the uncaring glibness and shallowness of what humans, at times, seem to have become. Even if my words are not profound, I hope they show that I care enough to pause, and attend.

    I feel really badly about the armadillo. Without much sight or hearing, they are not well adapted to traffic! And yet they are such an old species, so much older than Ford or Pontiac - seems grossly, grossly unfair. Is fairness a childish concept, do you think?