my birthday present

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

Sunday, October 21, 2012

David Whyte wrote this after the death of his mother. I think it is comforting.


She wrote me a letter after her death,
and I remember a kind of happy light
as I sat by the rose tree
on her old bench by the back door
so surprised to receive it
wondering what she would say
looking up before I could open it
and laughing to myself in silent expectation.

Dear son
it is time for me to leave you
the words you are used to hearing,
are no longer mine to give.
You can only hear those words of motherly
affection now from your own mouth
and only for those who stand
motherless before you.
As for me I must forsake adulthood
and be bound gladly to a new childhood.
You must understand
this apprenticeship demands
of me an elemental innocence
from everything I have ever held in my hands.
I know your generous soul
is well able to let me go
You will in the end be happy to know
my God was true
and that after so many years
of loving you so long
I find myself in the wide, infinite mercy of being
mothered myself.
P.S. All of your intuitions were true.

(David Whyte – Poet from the Pacific Northwest)

For you bookworms

This is a cute video of books coming to life.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Watching time pass

Jane Hirshfield  is masterful in this poem. I feel so drawn into the imagery. I identify with the sense that life is flashing past and I can’t take in but a fraction of it. I sometimes feel like a helpless bystander watching it happen.

 Jane Hirshfield

There are days the whole house moves at a gallop.
Bookshelves and counters, bottles of aspirin and oil,
chairs, saucepans, and towels.

I can barely encircle the neck
of a bounding pen with my fingers
before it breaks free of their notions;
open the door before the dog
of lop-eared hopes leaps through it;
pick up the paper before it goes up as kindling.

Barely eat before something snatches
the toast from my plate,
drains the last mouthfuls of coffee out of my cup.
Even these words
before the blue ink track has dried on the paper,
they’ve already been read
and agreed to or flung aside for others I don’t yet know of,

and well before
I have dressed or brushed out the braid of my hair
a woman with my own shadow
has showered and chosen her earrings, bought groceries
and fallen in love, grown tired, grown old.

Her braid in the mirror shines with new ribbons of silver,
like the mane of a heavy warhorse.
He stands in the silence as if after battle, sides heaving, spent.

From “Given Sugar, Given Salt” by Jane Hirshfield