May 8th, 2009

alan - three poppies

Mother's Day Weekend!

For many of us, our mothers are passed, and so the search for a card, gift, flowers, has passed and yet there is a need to root through memory.  I think this poem is a beautiful way to honor the spring.

Mother of my birth, for how long were we together
in your love and my adoration of your self?
For the shadow of a moment as I breathed your pain
and you breathed my suffering, as we knew
of shadows in lit rooms that would swallow the light.
Your face beneath the oxygen tent was alive
but your eyes were closed.  Your breathing was hoarse
but your sleep was with death.  I was alone with you
as it was when I was young but only alone now
and now with you.  I was to be alone forever
as I was learning, watching you become alone.
Earth is your mother as you were mine, my earth,
my sustenance, my comfort and my strength
and now without you I turn to your mother
and seek from her that I may meet you again
in rock and stone: whisper to the stone,
I love you; whisper to the rock, I found you;
whisper to earth, Mother, I have found my mother
and I am safe and always have been.
~ David Ignatow ~
(New and Collected Poems 1970-1985)

space - cat's eye nebula

Looking for a treat?

I just finished reading Chet Raymo's book, The Night of the Soul, An Astronomical Pilgrimage.  If you are feeling tightly bound in your life, read this book, and expand out into the space of this universe we share.  

I offer a few excerpts to tease you out into the night to watch the planets and stars, and to entice you to notice the tingle in your spine.  

""Let us worship the spine and its tingle," Vladimir Nabokov advised students in his lectures on literature. "That little shiver behind is quite certainly the highest form of emotion that humanity has attained when evolving pure art and pure science."  Searching for faint lights in the night sky is both an art and a science, and I count as worth a king's ransom the tingle in the spine that invariably accompanies a rare find. "We are vertebrates," said Nabokov, "tipped at the head with a divine flame." The brain is a continuation of the spine, an accretion of tissue at the top that burns with a pure blue flame, but the wick runs the whole length of the candle. The morning I saw the zodiacal light, I felt the heat of the flame all along the wick."

John Burroughs:  "To know is not all, it is only half.  To love is the other half."

"Give me the ninety-two elements and I'll give you a universe. Ubiquitous hydrogen.  Standoffish helium.  Spooky boron.  No-nonsense carbon. Promiscuous oxygen. Faithful iron. Mysterious phosphorus. Exotic xenon. Brash tin.  Slippery mercury. Heavy-footed lead. Imagine, if you will, a chemical storeroom stocked with the ninety-two elements. Pop the corks, open the valves, tip over the boxes and canisters.  Watch what happens.  What a to-do!  Energy released and absorbed. Atoms linking valencies to make molecules. Simple molecules reassembling their parts to make complex molecules. Sparks, flames, and flashes of light, a commotion of combination and alliance.  These are elements with a rage to order.  These are elements with a zest for life."

The book goes on and on with wonders of the elements, flame, poetry, love, light, night, and delight.