Perhaps this gives a taste of what Jane and I are working on each day. We continue to refine the translations as we change. The work of then, stands. It is where we were at the time, and now, we continue to change.
I am dipped
like an apple
when the rouged sky
over the view
soft with radiance,
Like a petticoat,
the rose of the sky drops,
in pink -
Each day before Tai Chi we sweep.
The mulberry tree loses its leaves slowly in autumn.
Even during the rainy season its leaves still fall.
Then sweeping is slow.
The wet leaves resist the broom and cling to the ground.
We don’t try to clear all the leaves away, then.
In spring, everything is topped in blossom.
We sweep in summer mostly to remember sweeping.
I woke this late January day, a chemo day, to the healing power of pink light. I felt bathed in grace, supported and matched in the rosiness of the sky. I had been suffering, wanting things to be different than they were, caught up in confusion over another’s wants and desires, and my own. I let it go, cleansed by the light of your broom.
My surgical scar is a gauge. It flames in pain, when I seethe in anger or perceived self-righteousness. Harry Potter and I each have a system to warn of danger. His dangers comes from outside. Mine from within. I manage my thoughts now, understanding that judgment is division, and does not serve me now.
Later, though, when I returned to this day, I felt my hurt and pain, pain buried deeply in fiber of muscle, and marrow of bone. You pointed out how vulnerable I was, then, like a baby, taking everything in whole, at a visceral, cellular level. We spoke of watering grief with tears and, allowing time, to heal.
You pronounce this the heart of the book. Perhaps, we are relieved to feel our grief. The heart is tenderized when we pierce our pain.
I am grateful to now have felt the pain, and, perhaps, now to stand on the “proud flesh” of healed wounds.
The Mulberry tree comes from
Jane’s Translation: Pink Sky Sweeping
Remembering this day from four months later, it feels that some of what this day is about is what isn't said.I am sweeping under your pink sky. Our poems are light and airy. They don’t speak to what each of us was living through at that time...me beginning to embark on a new and more demanding job, My son making some difficult decisions for himself, you at the moment before another chemo therapy and dealing with Jeff and Jan telling her parents about their decision to marry. How many cultural doubts and wrenching came when that door was opened. Still your words feel somehow both magical and true. Although the pain isn't central to either of our poems, your words, especially, don’t feel like denial. They feel like they open up a bigger circle of transcendence around your pain.
I’m reminded of my notebook from