Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blessing by Morel

A friend lives just over the horizon and west of the city. She told me of her rest in a woodland near her home, and the gift of morels in late Spring. Then, thoughts on the nature of creative process. She is an artist in color and light. As I collected wisdom, its seed incubated in a meandering mind. And here.

Slow down to know the gifts of life. Creative endeavor is like creation itself. Like the nature of a forest, the slow growth of a giant tree, shedding of leaf and limb through the seasons. Death and re-emergence of life. Deliberate changing of cover and color of foliage. The patience of flora, minute and massive, despite the skitter and fleet of fauna, the rush of storm and thought of mankind. There is always more time.

How long are the days of creation? Mountains rise and fall, as continents elbow for position. Earth turns. Sun gives its life as radiance, and Moon plies its pressure, exciting oceans and sky to tangle.

Go there. See it from the Starship. Know that we are not just our bodies. These are but the expression of earth and star and distant galaxy. Just as they too are ours. Slow to its pace, to the hour hand of the master clock. Stop. And tune to the tree, to the rock, to the mushroom. To the star. Know too, that all life, all substance and energy, is of the same Spirit. Because all is of one when you no longer look at life in parts. And when you look at life in parts, see the harmony in its working, in its movement, in its play. In rest. There is peace.

When Jane shared a mushroom with me, it was my first morel. The sharing of story and morsel inspired the poem below. Going to the place of verse's working helped me see the bigger picture.

Blessing by Morel

Sky white columns,
and canopy green.
Wooded floor in frond-soft tint.
Spring step on life-spent limb
and twig of feather, floral light.
I place cane chair in shade retreat.
Honor body, earth and soul.
Then call the roll: Just I and all
these other forms. They watch.
I rest.

And leaving day of great detail
unwinding all, but be and feel.
Then sense love song surreal
in murmur and sweet scent.
Drawn to the place of soul's content.
Hear hour hand in season's pace.
A different race—
Far and wide, and traveling band
by caravan and star-lit ship.
No end in sight and sound so quick.
But then a pop or snap or click.
I'm kicked back through portal of
immortal's bliss.

Slowly now, I reawake
to reacquaint myself to now.
And here. Somehow.
I breathe, and see anew.
Senses keen and sense of truth.
Color and light, in ambient hue.

Can trouble hide what isn't there?

Now circling my cane-back chair—
in silent toll, I count them—twelve!
Blest in soul and these morels.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Searching Mother

Again, I'd like to honor the day. But what can I say that equals that love--a hgher form?

As a father, love for my daughters may approach that bond. I hope. Even loving them more than the conscious love for her. Guess I couldn't say it better than my best of past. What have I written in it's theme? Mother. Motherhood. Mothers Day.

I searched within this blog for the word Mother. One among them I'd like to share again.

Lonely Hours -- Two Recollections

The fist is mine written April 7, 1998:

I cannot remember it's start this time, but life is good for me. Times were good, and they were hard . . . I don't remember bad. There's a balance in its memory--playtime joy, fantasy adventure, even heartfelt hurt. I now treasure the hard times, for looking back, they're good.

I do recall at three, or four, or five years old, for sure. We walked the field, my sister and I, in sun, and flowers, and wind on wheat. We followed thistle and grasses wove in the fence--the rust-wire fence that led us post-by-post to the pasture furthest south and east from the house. In these two acres with the three oak trees, and bramble near the corner post outside the gate, the hours slipped by as we were blessed with bachelor button and dandelion--over the hill, down from the barn, by the creek.

We didn't hear Mom calling, or know her frantic search--or know why she shed tears upon our gift bouquets.

Nor did I understand my sobs, when later Mom would read the poem she wrote of this account: Lonely Hours. She read it many times to family and friends, and uncles and aunts. And never in that time, and to the age of reason, did I hear the poem without my heart being wrung and wrenched of tears. I'd often leave the room before its final lines. Or Mom would forewarn the reading, so I could retreat outside. But still within my heart, what was the pain I felt? Even in silence the oft repeated rhyme cried loudly for relief.

This morning I glanced at the portraits of my daughters on the wall. I paused and understood, as tears formed in my eyes. There is no shame in crying--for a mother's love. And no misunderstanding can hide a boy's heart from his mother, or his daughters' from their dad.

I wrote that piece after our daughters had left home already. At times someone would ask, Do you miss them? My answer is always: No. I love them. Same with my mother. I don't miss what lives in my heart.

Our girls are now about the age my mom was when she wrote of the above incident. Here is her poem:

Lonely Hours

My feet ache, still my heart is glad.
The small ones left; it made me sad.
I scolded them a while before
And all because they slammed the door.
It woke the baby and made him cry
And, oh, for peace so much longed I.
They asked me, then, what should they do?
I paid no heed. Before I knew
A silence rare fell all around --
Those little ones could not be found.
Perhaps they thought of what to do,
But where were they? If I just knew.
Oh, please, God, help and keep them safe
And I'll be good and never chafe
At little things they often do
And noise they make the whole day through.
I called and called -- no answer came.
I ran and ran 'til I was lame.
Down to the creek -- they were not there.
Where could they be, that tiny pair?
I called some more; the plane o'er head
Drowned out my voice. Oh, were they dead?
Up through the lane, top of the hill --
No children there, it was so still.
Hastening on farther away
Next through the field I made my way.
I called and called and called again --
Only the rustling of growing grain
Blown by the wind was all I heard.
Where was Mary? Where was Gerard?
I fear and hope I sped along,
Shies were clouding, the way was long.
Shading my eyes the better to see
Two objects small beneath a tree.
And there they were quite unconcerned,
Those two dear ones for whom I yearned,
Their tiny hands clenched with flowers
Gathered by them these lonely hours.
Thank God they're safe and I must weep.
Oh, happy heart, but aching feet! . . .

I have to say, I think mom's rendition is the better one. Another one of her poems can be read in my eulogy for her in August of 2006.