December 28, 2008
- May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude
This past year I have not produced many posts, as my friends who frequent here have undoubtedly noticed. I think that I just needed a rest, I needed days of not pushing. My mind has wandered, and rested, as I lived in the changing light of my rooms. I emerge refreshed, and peaceful. I am especially hopeful for the new year even though there are so many difficult realities.
December 26, 2008
One winter evening, when the innovative engineer R. Buckminster Fuller was drinking tea by the fireplace of Professor Hugh Kenner, three-year-old Lisa Kenner prolonged her bedtime farewell with the question: "Bucky, why is the fire hot?" Kenner writes: Some instinct told Lisa that he was the man to ask. His answer, as he took her on his lap, began, like most of his answers, some distance away from the question. "You remember, darling, when the tree was growing in the sunlight?" On arms like upgroping branches, his hands became clusters of leaves as he described their collecting the sunlight, processing its energies into sugars, drawing them down into a stocky trunk. "Then the men cut it down, and sawed it into logs. And what you see now" ---he pointed to the crackling hearth---"is the sunlight, unwinding from the log."
December 23, 2008
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(I do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)...
Tell me more, poet. Tell me about the power of intense fragility. Tell me about the textures that compel, and the color of countries. Tell me how death is rendered with breathing, and tell me about opening and closing; show me eyes that are deeper than roses. Show me...
December 22, 2008
This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.
Translated by Robert Bly
I realized it was much simpler, much simpler even than dying and living. All the swan does to effect its transformation from awkwardness to grace and belonging is move toward the element where it belongs. That's all it does. I thought it was an astonishing key, an extraordinary key to transformation: all you have to know in your life are the things you love, the things you hold in your affection. You only have to know the frontiers, where simply by being at that frontier, you come alive. Take an inventory of your life. What is the work that brings you alive? What are the places that bring you alive? What are the conversations that vitalize you? In whose presence, simply by being in their presence, do you find yourself making the best of yourself, do you find yourself coming to the fore? Will you have faith in those frontiers, those extraordinary places that effect extraordinary transformations, and will you arrange your life, so you can spend more time at those frontiers?
December 7, 2008
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and Spirit.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
This is the time
For you to deeply understand the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do