Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"It is because I now have a muse again and am writing poems that I am lifted above all this... (that I might perceive as obstacles to creativity). Even a long-endured sorrow can become an obstacle to discovering beauty in another lovely day. We must determine to take hold of it in the morning and wring it as dry as we can. We must give ourselves to the hours and make the most of every small but generous minute. It is quite true that as we struggle with our own quiet grief we become more compassionate toward others. We suffer and our heart becomes more tender. We have been made vulnerable by sudden and traumatic loss and recognize that crushing vulnerability in others. We can become "people whom the light shines through". Is this light visible? Perhaps only those with eyes made sensitive by pain can see us shining toward them. It is difficult to see a light when light shines all around but even a tiny candle becomes visible in the lonely darkness of the Soul's midnight.
Well, even now as the earth lies brown around us we know we have an appointment with winter. I go out to find small dry wood and drag it home. I saw it into manageable lengths with my bright brave blade and stack it in the shed. I need this kind of wood to get the big wood hot enough to burn. I think of this little stuff as the foot soldiers. Without them my battle against cold would be difficult to sustain. This warm house becomes a frigate within which I ride to Spring's safe harbor with all my twigs arming me against frost assault.
Of Thoreau it has been said that if shut up in the house all day he did not write. But after a long walk his pen would match the measure of his stride. I follow this creed as well. It is also said that he did not practice any vice. But he said that before he became a man he did smoke. What!? Yes, he smoked dried lily stems. Dear Henry; before I became a woman I smoked dry oak leaves and coffee grounds rolled tight in newsprint. Crushing the leaves, mixing the ingredients and rolling all into a paper bundle was the better part of the acrid event.

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