news of an old friend’s passing—
I switch Pandora
to a blues station
I scour grief and grease
news of a new friend’s passing
the gift of her smile
through it all
the piercing presence of thistle
in the garden
I use the pencil sharpener
grandpa’s dad’s mine
jewel weed emerges in the garden I return home
I woke up this morning in a full-mode depression after weeks/months of a low-grade turn. I felt so low that I could not think of a single thing to write about today, and far worse, I cared less. The loss of hope, caring and spirit is the gut-sucker here while inspiration or lack ideas, words or images is secondary and merely a symptom. I had thought that the remedy needed was a get-away artist retreat or residency for a few weeks or even a short day-trip, otherwise tagged as an artist’s date (by the wise Julia Cameron), or simple break in routine. All of which are luxuries that do indeed help, but in the long run–luxuries do not fully replace daily nourishment or modest natural joy.
So I sat at the edge of my bed and uncorked the valve of tears and let them flow, and in doing so, I also decided that I cannot ignore or cleanly push Depression off to the side. I need to address and walk with her, Depression, and just let her be for what she is, despite the fact that I don’t even know what she is or why she visits. She simply takes up some of my time, space and energy. With that surrender and the tears came enough release and the recognition that we have to walk side-by-side sometimes, I was able to reset and begin a functioning and even noteworthy day. I noticed the underside of the half moon and its very real roundness, and began to note other small graces. I emerged from this darker side, and while driving, started to thank my team of Angels and Guides. I asked for a sign–calling it a gift for the first time to show me a bit of the magic in my life. Just as I was finishing the thought, a car turned quickly into my lane in front of me, and its license plate held My INITIALS ALL IN CAPS (yes as license plates are want to do). I smiled broadly and took this trivial delight as the sign/gift I asked for. I have not seen my initials on a car plate in decades, and since it’s all about timing–I felt blessed and gifted. I also began to tap into Inspiration, another of many walking archetype partners that I engage with. I had lost sight of her, Inspiration, this morning and now she is back. And though Inspiration is far more companionable than Depression or Grief, we all walk together taking turns to share and navigate the trail that is life and the artist’s way.
mubblefubble–walking depression into poetry
Yesterday morning, over a breakfast quesadilla and too hot hot sauce– a discussion took place on sadness, particularly how it looked on my face. 2018 was particularly sad year in terms of loss. So I turned to one of my favorite sages on this and other wisdom– Kahlil Gibran in his seminal work: The Prophet. Thus his writing on joy and sorrow:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”.
I confess to really not understanding this. How can sadness be contingent on joy or vice versa? And yet I do understand–the greater the love–the deeper its response (sorrow) when that joyful love is perceptively lost. Perception is the key.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
The takeaway here is that sadness is truly an act of love–damn that it just doesn’t feel that way. So I’m learning not to push it away, and instead invite it in for conversation.
walking with sorrow
around the corner
a begrudging friendship
if not for sorrow
The following are haiku-like short poems called “found haiku” or found poems. They are poems distilled from other writings–i.e. prose, news articles, longer poems, etc.. Within and from other sources, a writer/poet gleens her own version using the original author’s words in the order they appear in the original text. This is a legitimate form of writing so long as an acknowledgement is offered. There is even a Facebook page for “Found Haiku.”
In this case, the short poems are found in the New York Times Magazine section: The Lives They Lived (12/30/18); the article is on Margot Kidder by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
This year was a challenging one for most people that I know, on all levels–personal, national and global. Probably universal if I were to hazard a guess. My mom passed on as well as another close matriarch/friend. These found words are tendered in tribute and love.
edges are sanded down
is that the actual tribute?
can you ever know
a whole person?
a closer understanding
a woman is a galaxy
a mother is a universe
so is a daughter
“How would you say this more simply and more haikuey” –
“Spring Sunset Gold-Yellow Song Upon The Sky Trumpeting Daffodils?”
How would I? (turn this observation and string into a haiku), is the question asked of me about eight years ago when it was queried, and almost five years since she passed and crossed over the rainbow bridge. I may have tried once, however I was none-too successful. She was my favorite poet, even though she hardly wrote any tailored or even casual poetry. Her words just flowed into “raspberry and tangerine images.” Ours was a forty-year correspondence with a shared love of nature and the arts.
I rediscovered the question on a sticky note in her very distinct handwriting this morning and decided to sit down and finish the conversation. I hope that I can do her proud and know that she is smiling anyway.
For Robin, forever friend – I miss you and your words:
sunset’s golden song ~
a listening sky
ag ~ June 2017
I hope the stars appreciate your special beauty.
storms of tweets
somehow Stella makes the storm more neighborly
sometimes it takes a storm to bake cookies
Wet With Rain
My heart mourns
the loss of words
once ribboned into poems
now empty – a clothesline
between two poles.
My throat lumps
at the muddle of notes
no longer giving voice
to windstorms or the sky
holding its breath.
My eyes mist over
when twilight offers its nakedness
on a purple breeze
and wild bergamot wet with rain.
And my lonely heart,
lost in a mulberry thicket,
longs for the night when the moon’s halo
no longer lingers, long and sweet
on your lips.