To get there I left a long time ago.
The travel took me a long time.
I had to dodge and run between bullets
Walked gingerly between people in prayers.
I was sorry when I arrived at the camp
The refugees were dead.
Today the ashes from last night’s grilling
Of eggplant, chicken, and asparagus
Today is the gathering of heard stories from yesterday
Like remains of a town buried by rising ocean tide
I’m collecting them in a brown bag
They are read and being written.
I’ll try not to drop any portion on the ground
It’s not edible but may pollute the air
Shall I read it loud while gathering
Maybe the scattering will nudge late sleepers to rise,
Their existence acknowledge?
Both are bound to certain collections
A place for nourishment, for strangers.
I’m fascinated by possibilities,
They are concrete numbers, abstract in the mind.
They are bells to arouse a village
They create a sound, tuneless to melodious tune
How to find the thread through the eye of a needle.
“Before leaving home we’d talked about the prospect of making more than one trip to Alaska, and had agreed to see how the first one went.
“I feel so alive up here, She said, picking up the drawknife.
A minute later she stopped peeling again. “Dad”, she said, “promise me that you’ll try to live as long as possible.”
-James Campbell, Braving It
Mrs. Abstract hinted that also after my open heart surgery.
photo: It’s me. River Cruise in Germany.
“A wolverine is a strict loner, but a man needs people.”
-James Campbell, Braving it
Note: Books I’m reading;
Ripples in Spacetime by Govert Schilling
The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand
Braving It by James Campbell
Flirting With French by William Alexander
Entering the Silence by Thomas Merton
Living the Kabbalah by Simcha H. Benyosef
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (for my book club in September)
A lot but it makes the reading interesting. Mixture of ideas. Some of the books are at my bedside, others are on the sofa downstairs.
Mrs. Abstract shakes her head. She reads one book at a time.
Can you see a man? Can you start a story?
A man alone on the beach,
looking beyond the waters,
a letter inside his pocket.
The ordinary things that sing and comfort
The birds and my sandals
My morning walk expands my morning
Carrying a book and stopping
and sit on benches along the way
to read and maybe write a note or two
my feet and pages get along
like kindlings to start a fire.
My voice bounces in greetings
when I meet other walkers
their dogs running towards me
I walk and read and say hello
what other wonders do a day offers
to lift the spirits?
note: photo of the palm tree in front of the door of our condo.
“The infinity of space and time separates us from God. How are we to seek for him?… We are incapable of progressing vertically. We cannot take a step toward the heavens. God crosses the universe and comes to us.
Over the infinity of space and time, the infinitely more infinite love of God comes to possess us. He comes at his own time…”
-Simone Weil, Waiting for God
“Bless the World with Your Eyes
There is a beautiful practice in Jewish tradition of blessing the day. In this worldview, each act becomes worthy of blessing. Gratitude is offered for the gift of every moment: upon awakening, when crossing a threshold, eating a meal, lighting candles. The Talmud calls for 100 blessings each day.
This act of blessing is really a special way of paying attention. It is a moment of remembering wonder as our primary response to the world. It is an act of consecrating the day.”
-Christine Valters Paintner
Abbey of the Arts
note: Quotation taken from Abbey of the Arts,
read more: blessings
note: photo of my granddaughter’s creation.
A hiker, lost in the forest, sees
you taking photo of the waterfalls
hundred birds spread their wings
hundred trees bright up with colors
once upon a time
Simone loves to lie down on the sand
surrounded by stones
island of roses in the garden
note: Simone is my friend’s Siamese cat.