Friday, August 30, 2013

the beauty of the world becomes an anchor

The beginning of a poem by Linda Pastan, titled "Things I Didn't Know I Loved: After Nazim Hikmet"

I always knew I loved the sky,
the way it seems solid and insubstantial at the same time;
the way it disappears above us
even as we pursue it in a climbing plane,
like wishes or answers to certain questions—always out of reach;
the way it embodies blue,
even when it is gray.

{The rest of the poem here}
{And the one by Nazim Hikmet here}

It seems to me to be a useful exercise to list those thing you love, those things you find to be beautiful, from time to time, whether you're a poet or not. The simplest things, the oddest things. A line of poetry, a bowl of peaches on a windowsill, the sky. What we love, the beauty of things, the beauty of the world, becomes an anchor then, for times of gladness and times of sorrow, as well.

Or for even times, of "oh, I don't know."

I always knew I loved the way light trickles down through leaves in a small forest like honey through your fingers. But until I started taking photographs of it, standing in the rain of it, I didn't know you could catch drops of light-honey on your tongue. I didn't know you could breathe in the light of a leaf and hold it inside you for days. I didn't know, quite, the taste of light mingled with green leaves, my heart, at the end of summer, say.


  1. Shawna, every one of these images is so breathtaking. You've taken MY breath away with this line, "I always knew I loved the way light trickles down through leaves in a small forest like honey through your fingers."

    About 3 years ago I bought a little journal (from La Papier in Edmonton) and in it I hand wrote all things that give me joy and gave it to my son for Christmas later that year.

  2. Thanks, Diane. And yes, it's such a good exercise isn't it? What a lovely thing to give to your son.

  3. yes.
    simply YES.
    light through green leaves my favorite. the only thing even better . . .
    raindrops in that light.

  4. Surreal images to match your sublime words.


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