Wednesday, January 29, 2014

a singular happiness

Guardian Angel

by Rolf Jacobsen
(translated by Roger Greenwald) 

I am the bird that knocks at your window in the morning
and your companion, whom you cannot know,
the blossoms that light up for the blind.

I am the glacier’s crest above the forests, the dazzling one
and the brass voices from cathedral towers.
The thought that suddenly comes over you at midday
and fills you with a singular happiness.

I am one you have loved long ago.
I walk alongside you by day and look intently at you
and put my mouth on your heart
but you don’t know it.

I am your third arm and your second
shadow, the white one,
whom you don’t have the heart for
and who cannot ever forget you.

{found here}

I sometimes think there must be a guardian angel for this blog. I used to worry that I'd 'run out' of pictures, stop finding poems that mean something to my day, and with luck, yours. But I find them, using very often, internet magic.

The whole idea of a guardian angel intrigues me. I've written about this before a zillion posts ago. But I like the idea in the line Jacobsen writes - that your guardian angel may arrive in the form of a thought that arrives midday. Maybe your guardian angel arrives in the form of a line of poetry. In the light that enters your house in the middle of a long winter and where the dog situates himself. Or it bathes the stacks of books and makes them warm to the touch.

Have you had those instances in your life where you felt that something had saved you?

Who knows really what it was, but the feeling remains.

I think it's best to think of ourselves as possible guardian angels. Looking out for each other in that way.

Jorie Graham has written a poem titled, "The Guardian Angel of the Private Life" which begins:

All this was written on the next day’s list.
On which the busyness unfurled its cursive roots,
pale but effective,
and the long stern of the necessary, the sum of events,
built-up its tiniest cathedral ...

{read the rest here}

Are we all waiting for the phone to ring, Graham asks in the poem. Or, as in the Jacobsen poem, are we all waiting for the bird to knock at the window?

Are we waiting for that one good piece of news, or for something to save us from our lives?

We're calling for the angels, maybe because of 'the heaviness' and maybe because 'we're not sure how this goes.'  {Listen here} We're calling for angels, because it's a very human thing to do.

And don't ask me why, I'm now reminded of the poem by Jean Valentine, "I come to you" which goes:

I came to you
Lord, because of
the fucking reticence
of this world
no, not the world, not reticence, oh
     Lord Come
     Lord Come
We were sad on the ground
     Lord Come
We were sad on the ground.

But yes, reticence. Sometimes.

Who among us is sad on the ground?

It bears asking.


  1. Hi Shawnay. Have you already listened to the Elizabeth Gilbert Ted talk on the elusive creative genius? If not I think you might enjoy it.. Here's the link . Continuing in gratitude for your blog :) Jacqueline

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline, for reading the blog :)

      I did watch that TED talk - but ages ago! Time to revisit it I think!

    2. Hi Shawnay- funny you say that because I too just listened to her again and then right after that I read about your Guardian Angel! That's why I love your blog, because you sprinkle angel dust on everything :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...