Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the weight of the world is love and other ramblings as usual

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

- Mary Oliver

The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

- Allen Ginsberg, from "Song"

The authors you first come to when you begin writing, those early influences, are often the ones you turn to when the weight of the world, though it is love, it is love, is heavy indeed.

This morning I wanted the comfort of poetry, of a poet I trust, of a familiar volume, dog-eared and loved.

Roo Borson's Night Walk. Which is out of print, it seems, though there are used copies that could be purchased.

Roo Borson from "The Transparence of November,"

"Whatever small flowers
I may have mentioned in summer:
forget them."

And from the same book by Roo Borson:

The Trees

Their lives are longer, slower than ours.
They drink more deeply, slowly,
are warmed, do not shiver at dusk.
The heart unwinding makes a small noise.
Who would hear it?
Yet the trees attend,
perhaps to us, perhaps to nothing.
Ignorance, maybe, not of
flowering, but leaves and bark.
Trees. Dusk. Hand-coloured photographs
of the world before we were born.
Not sweet, but as water is,
sweet to a mouth long closed on itself.
Befriend them.

A reminder then, to drink deeply now. To remember that along with whatever other burdens we carry, we carry love.

I was reading something this morning, lost now on the internet, where the answer to the complaint about 'not having enough time' to write or paint or create or do whatever it is you feel called to do, is:

that you have as much time as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci. As much time as Jane Austen, Rainer Maria Rilke, Margaret Atwood, Mary Oliver and Virginia Woolf. You have the same 24 hours, the same 7 days in a week.

I use this excuse myself sometimes, even though I know it's not true - not enough time. 

Most of my books were written when I didn't have enough time. Chloe was born when I was in the midst of edits on my first book. I've written most of my current work in progress between 5 and 7 in the morning. I have a friend who wrote her entire novel beginning at 5am before she goes off to her full time job. Another friend writes between endless, intense freelance gigs. I don't know how either of them do it, and sometimes I'm not sure how I do it either, though it's true, I have more time than many writers I know.

The other question, what is your proper work?

If you haven't the answer for this by now, then when?


  1. Roo Borson. You are the ONLY person I have ever known who even knows about Roo Borson, let alone has a book to enjoy. I remember back when CBC had an online section dedicated to Canadian poets and their poetry. That was how I first read Roo's poetry. That part of CBC's site has been down a very long time now and I've never been able to find any more of Borson's work anywhere. This is like finding one of those intriguing leaves you photograph and share ... a rare and unique find that brings pleasure and causes us to stop and ponder.

    1. Diane - that is just the coolest. I've long loved her work. Some online here:

      I own all her books. I return to them often. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...