Zinnias in Penelope Vase, August 2011.
The Telling That Changes Everything XXX. October 14, 2012
For Beatrice and Sharon
To flourish, we allow the mind to
empty, the feelings to experience
hunger. Then the words and the love
rush in. –The Telling That Changes Everything V.
To live well,
to stay our whole life course and make
our final homeward journey, we have
only one choice: to pay close attention
to the world within and the world without.
The grain of the universe doesn’t destroy
us unless we let it.
–The Telling That Changes Everything XI.
It took you
seventy-five years to touch this home
truth? Be grateful you stepped ashore,
however wounded in soul and body.
Comforts beyond your present
imagining lie straight ahead.
–The Telling That Changes Everything XIII.
The awful, awesome nature of Life!
So much vibrancy and fight in every
living being. Without it we die and
make food for a new world rising
unbidden from our ashes. No need
to fail before our time of full aliveness,
before knowing that the fate we knew
years ago has reached its ripening.
We are who we longed to be. Our words
have the potency to change how other
people see the world. I knew words
were the most powerful weapon there
is. Bombs destroy. Words transform.
Corporate greed reduces, dehumanizes.
A writer’s vision heals, engenders
belief in people who feel trapped in
mind-numbing despair. A children’s
book reminds us: “there is enough
for all.”** Be known as one who
gives and receives. Lewis Hyde
called it “the gift-giving circle.”
You may call it Love, or God.
Deeply planted in us lives our Hope.
Do not crush that first flower. Feed
it, water, nurture, enjoy. Stop to see
the leaves of the self-heal plant that
finds its place in grass and weeds
along a busy road. Notice the
exuberant sweet potato vines that
overwhelmed even the most obnoxious
weeds. Then, when you rise to your
full height, believe all those prophetic
words you wrote for years and years.
When you see that your faith in
yourself was not misbegotten, that
other people see and love what
your Muse commanded you to tell
as best you knew how, then stand
tall, give to your writing, to your
readers, your creatures and plants,
your best self–everything good
that you can conceive. If cruelty
comes against you, then fight with
the truth sword you now know how
to wield. Defend your life and
your words to the end of Time.
** Rabbit Hill