I saw the life of life

Another poet came into being
when I saw the life of life…
the child I had birthed.
That was my beginning:
blood burning the groin,
the soul soaring, the baby wailing
in the arms of a nurse.

~ Vera Pavlova, from “Snapshots from Memory” in “If There is Something to Desire: One Hundred Poems.” Pavlova (54) is a Russian Poet who was born in Moscow.  Her husband Steven Seymour, a professional interpreter and translator, was the translator.


Portrait of Vera Pavlova: 7faces

Because who is perfect? (Moved.)


Thank you Susan

Edward Hopper. Third Grade Report Card.

This image was drawn on the back of Edward Hopper’s third grade report card dated October 23, 1891, when Hopper was nine years old. Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Little Boy Looking at the Sea, n.d., ink on paper, 4.5 x 3.5 in.


Notes:

How to describe the way these two waves of reality, the world and dreams, meet, do battle

Gosia-janik

How to describe the way these two waves of reality, the world and dreams, meet, do battle, fail to reach agreement, conclude short-lived treaties that are immediately broken, how at dawn they stare at one another incomprehendingly, begin to build bridges again by evening, and then once more turn furiously upon each other, with a passion mixing love and hate, and afterward, drift to sleep by the side of a highway leading nowhere, on an embankment where weeds grow with their heady scent.

~ Adam Zagajewski, Slight Exaggeration: An Essay (April 4, 2017)


Notes:

And I could never understand how these two forces, the light element of music and history’s heavy breath, coexisted.

Only what isn’t real. Sometimes I thought you could only really love what isn’t real: poems, paintings, the sounds of a piano drifting from the music academy, where a pianist, no longer young, a maestro, a stranger from another town, showed students how to play Chopin’s Fourth Ballade. Love only what isn’t real, but reality always resurfaced, in the shape of a trivial question about what to make for dinner (the ham’s gone, we’re out of tea), or in the form of menacing history: war’s broken out, mass demonstrations have paralyzed the city, inflation has imperceptibly changed the appearance of shops and streets (though it left Beethoven’s sonatas unscathed). And I could never understand how these two forces, the light element of music and history’s heavy breath, coexisted. I’ve tried to write about it more than once, but even the most dedicated readers have delicately hinted that they’ve had enough, let’s move on to something new, since these two worlds still cannot be reconciled or fused, they remain completely indifferent to my questions, they mock my inquiries, my worries, they likewise dismiss the protests of my scattered readers.

~ Adam Zagajewski, Slight Exaggeration: An Essay (April 4, 2017)


Notes:

so sweet and so cold

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams, “This Is Just To Say” (1962)


Notes: Photo – Freedom Smoke USA (via Lulu Graubart).  Poem: (via Schonwieder)

Lightly child, lightly.

This question is addressed not to Muslims, not to Arabs, but to all the children of Adam and Eve. […] There is no need to “acquire” religious knowledge. There’s only the need to let it go: let go of the egoism, the sexism, the nationalism, the tribalism. Then the inner jewel of our hearts will shine. […] Let us also answer yes. Let us also recover these jewels in our hearts and in our traditions. Here’s the challenge we find ourselves in. All of us have to drink from waters that run deep. And we have to also engage and purify the very fountains that we are drinking from. Let us dedicate ourselves to cleansing these ancient fountains.

Yes, there are real jewels in each of our traditions. And they are all covered in filth and junk that is centuries old. In some ways, the jewels shine today as they have always shone. There is a light that’s too bright to be put out. At the very same time, the filth and shit of racism, tribalism, nationalism, colonialism, classism continues to cover the jewels. There is a jewel inside our own hearts. That jewel, the inner divine knowledge, also shines so bright. It too has to be purified from the filth of egoism, sexism, and greed.

Let us wash these jewels,
you and I.

Let us rinse these jewels,
you and I.

Let us polish these jewels,
you and I.

Let us be in awe of our own inner light,
you and I.

We dive, and keep diving, into these oceans, picking out dirty jewels.

We curate these jewels and think about which jewels, which stories, which teachings, which practices are worth passing on to our children. So many are. Not all of them are.

There will be a polishing that our own children will have to do. We may be too deeply immersed in some of the filth to see it.

Let us be divers after pearls, friends.

Let us cleanse the fountains we drink from.

And then we will be able to sing together:

This little light of mine,
I am gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I am gonna let it shine.

~ Omid Safi, from Our Traditions Are Gems Covered in Centuries of Junk (Onbeing.org, June 14, 2017)


Notes:

  • Photo: gosia janik (Madrid, Spain) with “I co teraz?” via mennyfox55
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

I imagine what it must be like to…stay still in the night

There are no birds or anything, or none that I can see. I imagine what it must be like to stay hidden, disappear in the dusky nothing and stay still in the night. It’s not sadness, though it may sound like it. I’m thinking about people and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine, and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let the savage grass grow.

~ Ada Limón, “Mowing,” from Bright Dead Things: Poems


Photo: (via Hidden Sanctuary)

When I was a little girl…

“When I was a little girl,” she told me, “my parents took my brothers and me to the Grand Canyon. You can actually see all that space over the canyon, you know. I never forgot its breadth, how delicate the colors of the rocks and the sky and the trees were that hung in it. I wanted to fill that space up, to be inside it like a bird, graceful, rising, falling, flying long, winding spirals from the rim down to a landing far below.”

~ Barry Lopez, from “Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

What is it that I have to tell myself again and again?
That there is always a new beginning, a different end.
I can change the story.
I am the story.
Begin.

~ Jeanette Winterson, The PowerBook

 


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Who are you really, wanderer?. Photo: pann-  with standpauke (via Newthom)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
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