CHOICES

“Joy like a river in her soul”, words of a young boy

Sharing his mother’s state of being. 

A town nestled next to a river

How does one tear down and build anew?

River dredging begins Flood Control Master Plan.

Town awakens, sounds of bulldozers and cranes, 

People wearing helmets working

Design to demolish, preserve, develop, convert

Empty complexes, aging structures, dormant land 

Long deliberations in what the town needs:

Hotels, shops, restaurants, or something abstract

Community park in summer turns flood diversion space in winter.

Building a promenade on riverfront, 

Passageway along railroad tracks,

Connecting Vine Trail, continuity without impediments

Collaboration with artists and role of the arts,

A time for coffee and twisted cinnamon rolls.

One accent, the Passages, a segment of passageway 

Once a haven for graffiti’s passion and restlessness

Now a channel for artistic expressions,

Vivid, vibrant, living project

Come, look, linger, get involve.

Walking home I hum a Dave Brubeck’s tune

I prepare smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, 

A bowl of peach yogurt and blackberries for lunch.

I take my time. I do not eat with haste.

Like town dreamers, like my friends

I, too, have choices and concerns

Should I join the frenzy of high technology

Pulsing reminders of “constantly possible productive moments”

Or walk with artists and pilgrims in shared humanity

Learn value of life, bear the task, persevere?

In my solitary walk, my mind can’t remain still

How will the young boy paint the river?

Let image follow imagination like spells of delight

Art’s idea whispers, shouts, bends then leaps to clarity

A journey of praise of what one truly loves.

In art and life, one will leave one day, the other stays.

I will write my praise.

surrender

“Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,

let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.

Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart

fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,

or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face

make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise

and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights

of anguish. Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you,

inconsolable sisters, and, surrendering, lose myself

in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.

How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration

to see if they have an end. Though they are really

our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,

one season in our inner year–, not only a season

in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Tenth Elegy, Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell.

 

note: Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell is my favorite translation.

wisdom & mercy

“Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!”

img_2069

Wisdom 11:22-26, 12:1-2