Sunday, September 9, 2012
If You're Lucky, You Catch A Glimmer
My hens in the fall 2009. Now new ones are coming along.
The Telling That Changes Everything XXVIII.
September 9, 2012
True, I am rewarded for getting myself
down from those stilts and back on
terra firma. I write poems. My
Christmas cactus blooms.
–The Telling That Changes Everything III.
It is easy not to notice that my life
runs smoothly, that I keep to the path
I intended. These frustrations and delays
because I can’t re-thread the weedeater
or a heat wave keeps me indoors while
my vegetables hang on for dear life,
do pass. I ask help from my neighbors.
The weather changes. Now it’s too wet,
and my beautiful figs rot as they ripen.
Yet there is good news on every side,
and I have birthed my own life’s
purpose as never before. The older
we get, the more losses, and we feel
them more. Yet age has ripened
what I couldn’t have lived without.
When we’re young, we yearn to know:
who we are, whom we will love always,
what our life’s work is to be. Knowledge
gives us Maslow’s plateau. Not that
we don’t wrestle with our demon
doubts and sometimes wish for more
than we’ve been given–and of course
no resting on our laurels–we’re not
done yet–but we have the canniness
and imagination to work out the
puzzles of existence. God, or whatever
you want to call it, lifts us when we
stumble. We can look back and marvel
at all that went right and let go what
went wrong. We forgive all the
rascals and idiots who ministered
to our torments and grinned the while.
When Evil snares you with its sticky
web, you miss the asphodel, fail to
see eyes light up in your presence.
True, you’re fragile, too. We all are.
But something inside you has a
hard-to-explain fiber, a resiliency,
not proof from harm but understanding
how to change it so we heal–all of us–
those lost and those found. This isn’t
obvious. You can’t see it by looking,
though once in a while, if you’re lucky,
you catch a glimmer, as if the sun
glinted on glass or gold in some hidden
place, and flashed once, and only once,
into your eyes.