Sunday, November 1, 2020

Talking to Myself Forty-Six

 Photo of Judy at Lifestyle workshop by Elisabeth  2018


Talking to Myself Forty-Six November 1, 2020

For Yuri

“Nature for me--fire, water, wind, stones, plants, animals–all these are parts of a broken single being. And man in nature is the mind of a great being accumulating strength in order to gather all of nature into a unity.”–Mikhail Prishvin.

You find me in Russian literature. Not

too surprising. Have I not loved your poets

and story tellers from my youth? Dostoevsky,

Tolstoy, Akhmatova, Esenin, Mandelstam.

I wait in the hour when the time changes

back from two in the morning to one, and

the dogs, restless in their sleep, yelp and

cough, then grow quiet. I wanted to be four

things: my own archetype: Shakespeare’s

Sister as Virginia Woolf envisioned her; 

then partner, a Penelope to an Odysseus, 

but also an Odysseus myself. Then healer. 

Sometimes people yielded me the power

to touch and reassure them. Others fled

my love. But one remained. I wanted to be

a master of my art, and it was in your city

of Kostroma that I found my way and that

by loving all the people who let me into

their souls and even some who tried to keep

me out. Now you call me a master. In these

years of my aging, it’s hard to believe. Yet

then, in that quiet, borrowed apartment, I

felt my mind giving me all it had. Words

came easily. So many losses around me and

unhappy people, and yet I flourished. I

was happy. People loved me for myself.

I was a stranger, but treated like kin. Your

tiny grandson let me hold him. Vera gave

me a mustard plaster. You found my

apartment, understood I wanted solitude,

to be with myself by myself, to create,

to love, to do what only I could do. The

dogs are asleep. I’ll sleep now.

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