Saturday, February 11, 2012
I am lucky to have so many intelligent, curious friends who share with me the fruits of their creative minds. My email friend, Dwight, has consumed Henry Thoreau's Journal and has enlarged my thinking by sending me sniippets of Thoreau's daily thoughts that I, perhaps, am too lazy or unfocued to find for myself. Here is one such gift from Henry, via Dwight.
Feb. 11, 1859 -
Nature works by contraries. That which in summer was most fluid and unresting is now most solid and motionless. If in the summer you cast a twig into the stream it instantly moved along with the current, and
nothing remained as it was. Now I see yonder a long row of black twigs standing erect in mid-channel where two months ago a fisherman set them and fastened his lines to them. They stand there motionless as guide-posts while snow and ice are piled up about them.
Such is the cold skill of the artist. He carves a statue out of a material which is fluid as water to the ordinary workman. His sentiments are a quarry which he works .
"Nature works by contraries." Fluid vs. solid; "that which they meant for evil, God turned into good." (The story of Jacob). I could go on giving examples of this truth that I have seen, and, I'm sure, so could each of us.
"Nothing remains as it was." No need to elaborate on a truth we all regularly see.
And so, "The artist" uses these tools to complete his work. These tools of nature are the tools of creation.
Choose as you will the identity of this artist, but, at the least, his gift from Henry via my friend Dwight tells me that I, too, can turn solids to liquid by my choices and actions, and it is a reminder that the concept of change is an encouragement to self-improvement as well as an acceptance of a changing life. Serenity. Herein lies Serenity.
Thank you Henry. Thank you Dwight.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
A parrot of irritation sits
on my shoulder, pecks
at my head, ruffling his feathers
in my ear. He repeats
everything I say, like a child
trying to irritate the parent.
Too much to do today: the dracena
that's outgrown its pot, a mountain
of bills to pay and nothing in the house
to eat. Too many clothes need washing
and the dog needs his shots.
It just goes on and on, I say
to myself, no one around, and catch
myself saying it, a ball hit so straight
to your glove you'd have to be
blind not to catch it. And of course
I hope it does go on and on
forever, the little pain,
the little pleasure, the sun
a blood orange in the sky, the sky
parrot blue and the day
unfolding like a bird slowly
spreading its wings, though I know,
saying it, that it won't.
Today on the way home from a hair cut and grocery shopping, I chanced to think a big thought: During a lifetime we humans only rent the space we inhabit, whatever that is. We strive to gain some control over our lives by buying a home, owning land, and creating some sort of permanency – or what we call permanency. Yes, and we would like for it to go on forever, but it won’t. We only rent this life.
We don’t spend our average days in any grand manner: Today I had to come home from my hair appointment, let the dog out of her kennel, vacuum up the t paper she had torn up under the bed last night. Run in, drop the groceries on the counter and prepare pork sliders for dinner. Then I take time to write a bit – a loose moment dedicated to something other than my normal daily tasks. I will finish this now, phone my friend, take an hour to spin and start getting dinner on the table.
Exciting life. No. But yes, it is life and it just goes on and on. It feels so permanent, but it isn't. – Susan Wood did hit it out of the park on this one.