To A Poor Old Woman
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand
They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her
You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her
This poem enriches me
This poem enriches
me. This poem
A friend of mine is watching her friend meet death. It has been a long time and as her friend deteriorates, she is consciously enjoying each day and now is reading The Book of the Dead. I continue to think how I might cultivate and ensure a soft meeting of my transition, while also knowing, enjoying and honoring life here even as I know I slowly birth into a wider berth.
Ease, I say to myself each day. Ease!! And Peace!!
Here is Thomas Merton:
The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by "ending" its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It "dies" insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life "dies" to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. ...This "dying" to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.
Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone & Patrick Hart, editors (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jonvanovich, 1985): 102.
Thought for the Day
Death is, then, the point at which life can attain its pure fulfillment. Death brings life to its goal. But the goal is not death-the goal is perfect life.
Thomas Merton. Love and Living: 105
I have resisted Facebook but if I want to see the latest photos of my niece, it is easier if I am there, so now, I am, though with a bare presence in the moment.
We are flying to NY this evening and will spend next weekend at my brother's home in CT and my niece is going to explain how to navigate Facebook to me. Perhaps, then, I will have a photo and a profile.
I realize there is something about the connection that is enticing and I know that some of you are already happily and celebratorily there.
May this day fulfill with delight!!
Here is Terry Corrigan who wrote The Middle Place, that place where we grow up.