I’m happiest here, alone with the books and poems
There’s such richness in them, such joy
I’m glad to be a writer, to count myself among them
They set my dreams free, ward off the creeping death
The chill, the grey, the numbness that overtakes me
The malaise I am too weak to fight alone
This strange religion so widely believed
That this is all there is and all that matters
These people whisper in my ear that I am mortal
That life is wondrous strange, that imagination is as real as shadow, love, hope, and the trembling sense
Of sublime meaning, that there’s some sense to the world, some pattern to our path, a meaning in our doings and our withholding
That such is a gift, as the trembling doubt is a gift, that they stretch our spirit and give us humble connection to each other, all bowed and small before the great tides, all with the knowledge of joy and loss, this thing that can unite us.
Little unborn child, I’m glad you did not rush your coming past me and my night, did not slip past the shadows and into daylight without my chance to wait with you, darkened world and dark womb, to wait with you and think on you and speak to you and write of you. Little unborn, so loved and so unknown. I wonder if you’ll have any night in your soul? Any darkness in your eye, any poetry in your heart?
If it’s the unlived lives of parents that marks children’s paths you’ve quite a labyrinth to walk, my love. My life may be only a small portion of the Life, but it’s dear to me, deeply lived, dearly loved.
Rudderless we lose our way. But I know what I believe. Whatever stories we tell, they stay the same. I believe in kindness, evil, love. They are real, and powerful, and come wrapped in strange disguises. I do not know why, if it has always been so and if it is the same everywhere, but the real world thins and fades fast, like candles wearing down, and must be renewed often. The key is in the seeing clearly, the right naming of things. If I understood this I would understand the language of owls and the dance of planets. Such is our life. We sing and falter and fall and rise to sing again. We are both darkeness and light, faith and doubt, sea and shore. Each of the seasons have their turn, we understand great wisdom, and lose it, only to gain it again. Somehow it’s not meaningless but beautiful. We are reborn.
There’s a quiet ecstacy in my bones, they chime softly to themselves and speak the language of planets, spinning in space. I’m inviting a family into my home, into my peace and solitude, and I feel ecstatic joy at the breaking of our time of quiet. I welcome the tearing down and the giving away. Wine is pressed from my trampled heart, flowing dark and sweet. I’m happy beyond speaking that my life has come to this. It’s worth the risks. Should all end in fire, I acted with courage, I dreamed a new dream and birthed it here, on my own, in the dark.
(don’t pity me, what’s to pity? I’ve lived richly, seen things you wouldn’t believe)
This is not the last night, there’ll be more nights, more writing, more poetry, pacing with babe in arms, walking in rain with dog, sitting up late by the ocean, listening to my heartbeat. I know this as surely as I know this is my hand and this my hip. I know this like I know the breath in my chest and pulse in my throat. I know it and I’m fiercely glad of it. It is a good thing to be alive, so deeply alive, so full of stars and night.