Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Purple lilacs bloom;
pink dogwood blossoms fly out
against warm spring nights.
April is National Poetry Month. I am always amazed at the power of words. Reading itself is a fantastic feat. To be able to put a few lines and curves on paper, to recognize those lines as having a sound and when placed together to have a meaning related to spoken language, to have a consensus that those lines mean pretty much the same thing to you as they do to me, wow. The brain is one complicated, complex, beautiful processing unit. Even more interesting is about 25% of all brains comprehend reading in a non-typical way, as in dyslexia.
Dyslexia or no, anybody can put words together in creative ways to convey meaning. What does that mean? Meaning is the fluid powerful part of poetry. Words can have more than one meaning, or create different pictures for different readers. And taste in word choices can vary as well. For example, I am not fond of what I call “Hallmark” poetry, the sappy platitude verses on greeting cards. Some people love and write that kind of poetry. I’m glad they do; you can read and love anything you wish, it’s your reader’s right. And it keeps authors of that kind of work working. It just doesn’t tweak my fancy.
I am not sure how to describe meaning. For me meaning in poetry and fiction, and in some well-written non-fiction as well, is a visceral reaction. Whether spoken aloud or read silently, I physically feel the words in a clinching spasm of my stomach, a shiver down my spine, an immediate uncontrollable burst of perspiration, the speeding of my heart, or a rippling of the skin on my arms or face. When one of those sensations is invoked from words I re-read those words often. Maybe I want to keep those sensations alive. Or maybe I keep the author alive by reading their words. Other people’s words can stun and astonish me with their power. Here’s an example.
And Yet The Books
by Czeslaw Milocz
And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
“We are, ” they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.
If you enjoy poetry you can subscribe to different sites who will send you a poem every day during the month of April. I use the Borzoi Reader through Alfred A Knopf, who sends me a wide variety of poems and poets. It’s a delight to discover somebody I’ve not read before and a comfort to re-read old favorites.
Whatever poetry you like, read poetry this month while the pink cherry blossoms snow outside your window and you can hear the grass grow. Let a few words enrich your day and help you power through any daily challenges you may face. Create powerful words of your own when they occur to you. Write your words of beauty and let them live together.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – a neighbor’s yard full of pale yellow shooting stars; fantastic containerized purple azalea; fantasmigorcally colored hellebore; love this dark purple lilac; brilliant pink potential strawberry; and stunning yellow tulips.
Currently Reading – Room (2010, fiction) by Emma Donoghue; My Stroke of Insight (2008, science) by Jill Bolte Taylor; Storybook Style: America’s Whimsical Homes of the Twenties (2001, architecture) by Arrol Gellner. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Being a sucker for strawberries. I am a great supporter of the strawberry producing industries in the Pacific Northwest.
- Sweet warm spring breezes.
- Refreshing cool spring rain showers.
- Anticipating the opening of our local farmer’s markets.
- Getting another small corner cleaned. I forget how many corners this little house has.
- Having a little budget to purchase new fat fluffy towels (waited for the best sale price of the year) to replace the threadbare old ones. The old ones will now serve in various rag form as they wear out completely.
- The people who make terrycloth. I love the soft nubby wickiness of the material.
- Getting both pairs of glasses repaired.
- Thinking too much about how many plurals are in “both pairs of glasses”.
- Getting rid of a few things to make some space.
- Rearranging to create some open space around my writing area.
- It’s spring, right?
- The crazy order of blooming this spring, very early, warmer than usual, many things blooming outside the “usual” order. Like nature is having fun mixing it up a bit.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch