my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Monday, April 30, 2012

"There you go"

I got a note from my cousin, Brenda. She and her grandchildren were doing a butterfly project. When they were ready to release them they noticed one had  deformed wings so they gave her an extra week before they let her go.  When they did release her she struggled to get about 12 feet off the ground and a bird swooped down and got her in midair. "There you go," was Brenda's response.  It reminded me of this poem in which Mary Oliver recognizes the beauty and the irony in the harsh reality of nature, yet she is conflicted by it. There is a certain inevitability that all aspects of life end up in death or loss, or I am missing the more positive message?

Night and the River
Mary Oliver

I have seen the great feet
leaping into the river
and I have seen moonlight
milky along the long muzzle
and I have seen the body
of something scaled and wonderful
slumped in the sudden fire of it mouth,
and I could not tell which fit me
more comfortably, the power,
or the powerlessness:
neither would have me
entirely; I was divided,
consumed, by sympathy,
pity, admiration.
After a while it was done,
the fish had vanished, the bear
lumped away
to the green shore
and into the trees. And then there was only
this story.
It followed me home
and entered my house-
a difficult guest
with a single tune
which it hums all day and through the night-
slowly, or briskly,
it doesn't matter,
it sounds like a river leaping and falling; it sounds like a body
falling apart

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