life is one big poem, i think, or as i wrote a dear friend this morning, it can be one very long, extended prayer. there is very much a beginning, and an end; there are o! so many stanzas, verses, groups of things happening under roman numbers much as they do in the love song of j. alfred prufrock, in the song of solomon. there is heartache and great, uncontainable joy; there is confusion and exhaustion, brilliant epiphanies and muddy dilemmas, things that at one time seem colored in shades of grey and black and white, at other times exploding with the many colors of spring. we walk through days and months and years with the grace of a dancer, with the awkward steps of a baby just learning how to walk, over and over again in no predictable pattern: grace, grace, toddler, toddler, grace. the paths that we take carry us over hills and beyond, back to center again, on crooked walks and straightened highways, up stairs and down, through darkest tunnels and back out into the blinding, illuminating light. and in the middle of it all, we live our poetry, we stuff our days with pages of memories, simply by waking up each morning and going back to sleep again each night.
"when i opened the bedroom window this morning, i noticed a large black crow, walking across the yard below. i'm not sure why things like this always seem important, but they do." - a thought i scribbled down on scrap of an old textbook page... when i read it again just now, it seemed like something i'd want to keep - a poem, in its way, like haiku is with its numbered words and lines, its reference to nature and to life. a poem about an open window, about a crow that was walking, head bobbing, across the entire length of my front yard, oblivious to the middle aged woman in grey flannel pajamas watching it from a window far above. that could even be the beginning of a play. we walk out in the morning and cut fresh flowers for the pitcher or the vase, we walk down rain soaked roads and splash our feet in reflection of the sky, we hang the clothing outside on the line; the wind kicks up the striped tablecloth corners and tosses the linens to the ground, the wind turns the page again and again. fallen laundry, broken cups, spilled birdseed: act II or VIII, intermission is over, the playhouse lights are dimmed, the actor steps back onto stage and into the sun again, clothespins or flowers in hand.
i don't know why i'm writing all of this. life is a prayer. life is a poem. and we get to decide sometimes and sometimes not what goes into the stanzas, the blurry, run - on lines. in the final afternoon moments here, of late, just when the sun is about to finally sink and the distant mountain is glowing with its last golden light of the day, there has been a continual breeze that blows across my face while i sit outside on the deck, watching and listening to the birds as they prepare themselves for bed. it is a different breeze, somehow, one that carries freshness and promise in its wake, one that causes me to close my eyes and drink it in and remember loved ones who've gone on to another place. i think of my parents, of my boys and my dog, i am grateful for their health and for their presence in my life (no matter how far), i lift my face to the western sky and let that breeze kiss me shyly on the cheeks, and there is another poem for me, unspoken, unwritten, but existing all the same; there is a prayer of thanks. the wind carries a pen in its hand and scrawls its words across the sky behind my eyes. life is a prayer. life is a poem. i hold this in my hand, i write it now to share with you to read. breathe it in. remember. write a line, just by living. write another line again. and so it begins. amen. xo