Friday, December 21, 2012

as though with your arms open


by Dorianne Laux

The slate black sky. The middle step
of the back porch. And long ago

my mother’s necklace, the beads
rolling north and south. Broken

the rose stem, water into drops, glass
knobs on the bedroom door. Last summer’s

pot of parsley and mint, white roots
shooting like streamers through the cracks.

Years ago the cat’s tail, the bird bath,
the car hood’s rusted latch. Broken

little finger on my right hand at birth—
I was pulled out too fast. What hasn’t

been rent, divided, split? Broken
the days into nights, the night sky

into stars, the stars into patterns
I make up as I trace them

with a broken-off blade
of grass. Possible, unthinkable,

the cricket’s tiny back as I lie
on the lawn in the dark, my heart

a blue cup fallen from someone’s hands.

I know I've posted the Dorianne Laux poem here before, but it seemed appropriate with these photos.

Yesterday, I said I wanted to look at things in an unfamiliar way. And there are many writers and philosophers we can turn to when we want to think about seeing, how we see. John Berger, Nietzsche, Annie Dillard, etc. But this morning, Mary Oliver:

“There are things you can’t reach. But
You can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of god.

And it can keep you busy as anything else, and happier.

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
As though with your arms open.”

~ Mary Oliver

{Instructions to myself}:   See with your hand outstretched. See the heart of your friend, a blue cup, a chinese dragon teacup. See, reaching out. See what may be on the brink. Hold it in your cupped hands.

1 comment:

  1. every one of these images is lovely, even in the brokenness. Such wise poetic words Shawna. I'm hoping to get time beforehand but, just in case the whirlygig catches up to me, I wish to leave you a wee message. Merry Christmas to you and yours; may your hearts and home be filled with joy and peace during this festive season.


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