WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

CONTENTMENT

            In a human world seemingly scattered by disruption and dissatisfaction, it is reassuring to remember that, in nature, contentment is everywhere. Trees are perfectly at ease where they are, no matter what the wind or weather is like. They simply stand at peace, whether bent over by winds or smothered in soft snowfalls. And the squirrels in our yard seem to find gladness in getting up as high as possible in trees, or scraping the soil in pursuit of nuts, or simply twisting their heads here and there. They seem to be saying life is precisely what it should be right here and now – sometimes dangerous, yes, but always full and fulfilling. And high above, the sky goes about its boundless business in peace and restfulness. When it’s all blue and still, it seems content, but it appears just as restful when clouds are clashing and lightning is streaking around. I always see serenity when I’m outside and look up. 

            I can learn a lot from trees and squirrels and skies. I need to stay still more often and listen to their lectures!

A SKY HERSELF
(about Braelynn J., 51, Blessings, CT, USA)

She shoots for the sky every day, 
daring to send thoughts 
soaring as high as happiness. 
Her whole life 
seems like a boundless sky to her, 
and so she sails rather than works, 
ascends rather than toils.  
People tell her she always 
seems to be smiling, 
 and she knows that's because 
she's a sky herself, 
and can a sky 
be down and discouraged? 

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Friday, August 13, 2021

ASTONISH

         The word ‘astonish’ comes from the Latin word for thunder, so it could literally mean being thunder-struck, shocked like sudden thunder and lightning can shock. I’ve been astonished like this – ‘stopped dead in my tracks’ – countless times in my long life, but much more so in the last few years. In fact, it’s truly a daily, sometimes hourly, experience now. Life, more and more, seems like almost constant ‘lightning and thunder’, but in the best and happiest of ways. I am now, at the age of 79, truly amazed, stunned, and startled by almost everything. I know now that I have absolutely no answers, but only awe-struck questions, and I am loving the questions (as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke advised a young poet to do). “Why did this just happen? Where did this thought come from? How did I get here? Who the heck am I?” In these elder days, I walk around in an almost constant daze, but it’s a happy daze, a bewilderment that brings me grateful joy. I feel like I’ve reached the summit of a mountain where the view is both striking and mystifying, both beautiful and utterly baffling. And strangely enough, I am totally at peace with this astonishment I’m feeling in my 79th year. In fact, I am grateful for it, for I feel like I’ve entered a land of both constant surprise and absolute safety. Somehow, my bewilderment brings with it quietness and contentment. There’s lightning and thunder, yes, but it’s the kind that carries illumination and instruction and a smile. 

IN MAZE

In Maze, Mississippi, USA, 
the residents seem always thunderstruck, 
as if astounding thoughts 
are constantly ascending 
like stars inside them. 
They seem almost speechless,
like words couldn’t possibly describe 
the miraculousness of their lives. 
They see their lives as shoreless rivers 
flowing in a poised and imperishable way. 
As with all of us, 
they sometimes must take a trip
with sorrow, 
but they’re astonished that its hard road 
always leads to new kinds of light. 
They’re staggered by the freshness
of every single moment, 
as if life is always
starting over with a sparkle. 
They’re flabbergasted by the simplest sights – 
leaves moving in winds, 
a single bird sitting in grass. 
These folks of Maze often look totally lost, 
but somehow in a lovely, lucky way.





And here are some scenes from our recent walks, and roses outside our dining room window, and Queen Anne’s lace beside our patio, and two loving friends named Hammy and Delycia …