I've been slowly reading Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, Full Catastrophe Living.
I am intrigued with this. He is talking about how we begin with a cell, and yet, even in the womb, in "the body's earliest stages, death is part of the process. Some of the cells that are originally laid down to form the structures of the hands and feet die selectively to give rise to the spaces between the fingers and toes so that we don't wind up with paddles at the end of our arms and legs." How exciting is that? I visualize myself with paddles. Hmmm! So the letting go means something new. I can type this to you.
I open Jim Harrison's book, The Theory and Practice of Rivers and New Poems, and feel how much this poem applies to the news of today.
The BRAND NEW STATUE OF LIBERTY
to Lee Iacocca (another Michigan boy)
I was commissioned in a dream by Imanja,
also the Black Pope of Brazil, Tancred,
to design a seven-tiered necklace
of seven thousand skulls for the Statue of Liberty.
Of course from a distance they'll look
like pearls, but in November
when the strongest winds blow, the skulls
will rattle wildly, bone against metal,
a crack and chatter of bone against metal,
the true sound of history, this metal striking bone.
I'm not going to get heavy-handed --
a job is a job and I've leased a football
field for the summer, gathered a group of ladies
who are art lovers, leased in advance
a bull Sikorsky freight helicopter
to drop on the necklace: funding comes
from Ford Foundation, Rockefeller, the NEA.
There is one Jewish skull from Atlanta, two
from Mississippi, but this is basically
an indigenous cast except skulls from tribes
of blacks who got a free ride over from Africa,
representative skulls from all the Indian
tribes, an assortment of grizzly, wolf,
coyote and buffalo skulls. But what beauty
when the morning summer sun glances
off these bony pates! And her great
iron lips quivering in a smile, almost a smirk
so that she'll drop the torch to fondle the jewels.
- Jim Harrison