:: :: :: :: terrible dragon: slaying the world one poem at a time :: :: :: ::
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What we think, what we choose
We begin so high, the slow climb to summits we were born to rediscover and attain. Once arrived, we sample the air, test vapors for their vintage, savor subtle differences between rarified blues, note the absence of angels this far up.
We struggle to survive until we come to understand this was never meant to be a struggle. We learn to sit, to be still in such atmospheres, to move with purpose rather than persistence, refract what elements would seek to suit us.
This is all meant for the body, for spaces between atoms where the ages thrive to bring us to some place we might call home. What we think, what we choose to believe, has so very little to do with any of it.
This is the worn path of prophets and sailors, footprints left in sand and foam that lead the way toward a destination that is but a traverse through commencement. This is where what we call grace falls.
She always wanted to go to Paris. She wanted a pair of boots not available anywhere else in the world; buttered croissants warm beside a cup of delirious coffee strong enough to flatten the Arc de Triomphe.
She wanted the light on her arms fragrant with mist from the Mediterranean, a dark Moroccan man’s hand sliding along the brace of her nape as if tracing the north coast of a map of his homeland where her desire spends winter.
She always wanted to go to Paris. Stay for months and fly to Texas to see her father, for him to live forever and still be alive when she flew back to France and, when airborne, settle into a dream that her mother would be at Roissy waiting.
She wanted to misspeak a thousand irregular verbs incorrectly, watch a waiter imperceptibly wince at her better-than-average attempt to decimate their cherished tongue, order the wrong thing and act as if it were exactly what she wanted.
She always wanted to go to Paris. To be mugged by a street thug who clapped her in the back completely unprovoked while his girlfriend watched and surrendered her right to be counted among women who should never have to suffer so.
She wanted art flooding her senses, the audacity of it, the singularity of pricelessness overwhelming her callow sense of beauty deepening her encompassing of what it is to be held in the bosom of a city of such incomparable light.
She always wanted to go to Paris. She wanted to sit alongside the river and watch reflections race the slow summer sun, spy lovers lazing along the loping banks whispering French words in French ears with French mouths hungry for conquest.
She wanted this and little else. To be seen among its citizenry, mistaken for Parisian by boorish Americans who would never know her uncle was the same cavalier swashbuckler as theirs, a prattling young cuss who seldom gets the ways and words right.
So go down the road. Be death, be stardust, enter the duality known to the generations who are vanished, who left behind this double image, but only half the message, just the instructions for how to begin. ~ Eleanor Lerman(from her poem Muons Are Passing Through You)
Instructions For How To Begin
It all looks so simple. Every day begins not too unlike the millions before it: a rousing, a stirring, a changing from nocturne to reveille as owl gives over to rooster.
How this will all unfold, no one can say. It is the first lesson we set aside before bearing wing, paw, fin, foot to its taken purpose. Everything does it this way.
The journey promises one thing: it will reach an end. It will not spur you to go this way or that. One signpost is as good or useless as the last.
Should you find me struggling with my shoes, do not hold this knowledge against me. The snail treks a world far larger than we can hope to imagine.
Half-erased, I set this for your eyes to reassemble in any manner you might deem fitting. Beyond this beginning there is, remember, yet another.
wisdom is worth all we lose to attain it. ~aucassin verdé
i wonder if the artist ever lives his life-—he is so busy recreating it. only as i write do i realize myself. i don't know what that does to life. ~anne sexton
you must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. in my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid and the envious. the stupid will like you in five years time. the envious, never.~john wilmot, 2nd earl of rochester
art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. ~kahlil gibran
creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. art is knowing which ones to keep. ~scott adams
those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either. ~golda meir
i said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope
for the wrong thing.
wait without love,
for love would be love
of the wrong thing.
there is yet faith;
but the faith and the love
and the hope are all
in the waiting.
wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought.
so the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.