Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Verse, "Hard Life with Memory" by Wislawa Szymborska

I’m a poor audience for my memory.
She wants me to attend her voice nonstop,
but I fidget, fuss,
listen and don’t,
step out, come back, then leave again.

She wants all my time and attention.
She’s got no problem when I sleep.
The day’s a different matter, which upsets her.

She thrusts old letters, snapshots at me eagerly,
stirs up events both important and un-,
turns my eyes to overlooked views,
peoples them with my dead.

In her stories I’m always younger.
Which is nice, but why always the same story.
Every mirror holds different news for me.

She gets angry when I shrug my shoulders.
And takes revenge by hauling out old errors,
weighty, but easily forgotten.
Looks into my eyes, checks my reaction.
Then comforts me, it could be worse.

She wants me to live only for her and with her.
Ideally in a dark, locked room,
but my plans still feature today’s sun,
clouds in progress, ongoing roads.

At times I get fed up with her.
I suggest a separation. From now to eternity.
Then she smiles at me with pity,
since she knows it would be the end of me too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday's Verse, "You Will Remember" by Pablo Neruda

You will remember that leaping stream
where sweet aromas rose and trembled,
and sometimes a bird, wearing water
and slowness, its winter feathers.
You will remember those gifts from the earth:
indelible scents, gold clay,
weeds in the thicket and crazy roots,
magical thorns like swords.
You'll remember the bouquet you picked,
shadows and silent water,
bouquet like a foam-covered stone.
That time was like never, and like always.
So we go there, where nothing is waiting;
we find everything waiting there.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Music in the Air, "I'm Every Woman" Whitney Houston

She was part of the soundtrack of my school life. I remember riding home from middle school and hearing one of her songs in the car, or on the radio when I got home and into my room. And no matter how awful the day had been, her voice and the beats would lift it right off me like so much unneeded baggage. The sound was warm and alive, it was red and golden lights, and sleek club floors with beautiful boys and girls dancing in pretty clothes. It was escape and freedom. And it would make me dance too, not giving a damn about anything but her voice and my happiness in that particular moment. And I'd dance until all I could hear was the roar of my heartbeat in my ears, and her voice, nothing ever drowned out her voice. Rest in peace.

"A Morning Offering" by John O'Donohue

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

"The True Love" by David Whyte

There's a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand held
out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides
I remember an old man
who would walk every morning
on the gray stones
to the shore of baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the waters.

And I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them,

and how we are all
preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling
and that moment
when we have to say yes,
except it will not come so grandly,
so biblically,
but more subtly,
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love,

so that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them we find
everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage,
and if you wanted to drown, you could,
but you don't

because finally
after all the struggle
and all the years,
you don't want to any more.
You've simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory,
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Quote From Isaac Asimov

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

Monday, February 06, 2012

Monday's Verse, "The Journey" by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Music in the Air, "Now" Everclear

Saturday, February 04, 2012

"For a New Beginning" by John O'Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.