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)

in a language no school has taught you

You heard—the song the moth sings, the babble
Of falling snowflakes (in a language
No school has taught you), the scream
Of the reddening bud of the oak tree

As the bud burst into the world’s brightness.

~ Robert Penn Warren, from “Muted Music,” The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren


Notes:

Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary “Whoa”

The trees are so big that it would be cowardly not to deal with their bigness head on. They are very, very big. You already knew this — they’re called “giant sequoias” — and I knew it, too. But in person, their bigness still feels unexpected, revelatory. And the delirium of their size is enhanced by their age, by the knowledge that some of the oldest sequoias predate our best tools for processing and communicating phenomena like sequoias, that the trees are older than the English language and most of the world’s major religions — older by centuries, easily, even millenniums. The physical appearance of a tree cannot be deafening, and yet with these trees, it is. Facing down a sequoia, the most grammatically scrambled thoughts wind up feeling right. Really, there’s only so much a person can do or say. Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary Whoa. […]

Late one afternoon, I lay down in the snow at the base of one for a while, watching as the fog poured in through its crown, and I remembered how untroubled Riksheim sounded at the bar the previous evening when, lowering his voice, he mentioned that there was a particular sequoia near his house that he was keeping an eye on. He could wake up dead tomorrow, he said. “It’s just that flying, fickle finger of Fate. Every once in a while, it’s going to point at you.” Then he fluttered his long, bony index finger through the air and lowered it with a sudden whoosh. Out of nowhere: crash. And I realized that his experience of it — a feeling of forsakenness, of arbitrary cruelty — would be essentially the same as the tree’s.

Two days later, I was snowshoeing around alone when I discovered I was standing in front of the same sequoia I had lain under. There, in the sloping snow at its roots, I saw my imprint. My back and legs and arms were joined into a wispy column, with the perfectly ovular hood of my parka rounding off the top. It looked like a snow angel, but also like a mummy — an image of both levity and dolefulness, neither all good nor all bad. I took a picture of it: what little of myself was left after I’d gone. The figure looked smaller and more delicate than I thought it should, but the Giant Forest was so quiet that I couldn’t imagine who else it could be.


Photo: The General Sherman Sequoia Tree – 275 feet tall, 100 feet around. Sequoia National Park from the foothills of central California’s Sierra Nevada. “To a human being, a 2,000-year-old sequoia seems immortal.”  (David Benjamin Sherry)

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week (Out with the X-Mas tree)

Berlin,christmas tree, zoo

Elephants feast on discarded Christmas trees at Berlin’s zoo.

Recycling. Au Naturel. Who knew?


(Source: wsj.com by Sean Gallup, Getty Images)

Saturday Morning

tree-still

In November,
the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves, how lovely they are,
spreading their arms like dancers.
They know it is time to be still.

– Cynthia Rylant, In November

 


Notes: Photo – Anna Williams. Poem Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Lightly child, lightly

art-bird-lightly-ribbon-wings

I cannot cause light;
the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.
It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind.
Light, be it particle or wave, has force:
you rig a giant sail and go.
The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind.
Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail,
whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.

~ Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Beth for your ongoing inspirations: Alive on All Channels
  • Art: Silvia Angelova (Bulgaria) (via The Sensual Starfish).
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Related posts: Annie Dillard
  • 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.”

Lightly child, lightly

trees-black-and-white-woods

I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

~ Wendell Berry, “Woods” From Collected Poems, 1957-1982.


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Beth for your ongoing inspirations: Alive on All Channels
  • Photograph: Albert Renger-Patzsch – Beechwood in Fall, 1936 (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.”

Pink Mouths Unfurl

looking-up-at-cherry-blossoms

[…]

I’ve seen in March or April
when the tree’s myriad pink mouths unfurl
and blow kisses to everyone in sight

[…]

~ Ross Gay, from “The Opening,” Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)


Notes:

 

Lightly child, lightly

raining-texture

To be held
by the light
was what I wanted,
to be a tree drinking the rain,

— Linda Hogan, “To Be Held” from Dark. Sweet.


Notes:

  • Poem Source: I Hear It In The Deep Heart’s Core. Photo: uiethma with Rain
  • 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.”

The Caring Hand

tree-hand-sculpture

The Caring Hand” is a sculpture located in Glarus, Switzerland.


Source: Splitterherzen

 

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