“To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness – these are the gifts which money cannot buy.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson
I’ve been thinking about the human spirit lately, that delicate, resilient, ageless part of us that holds fast to our dreams, hopes, needs, and wants. And I’ve been wondering, can we keep the changing circumstances of our life, both good and bad, from changing that essential part of us?
“The light died in the low clouds. Falling snow drank in the dusk. Shrouded in silence, the branches wrapped me in their peace. When the boundaries were erased, once again the wonder: that *I* exist.”
We’re raking up leaves here in Michigan, cutting back the withered flowers in our gardens and planter boxes and thinking about Thanksgiving Day recipes and holiday shopping. I love both summer and autumn in my home state but I’m looking forward to winter this year. For me it will be a time of rest and renewal. I plan to hibernate like a bear beneath a blanket of silent white snow, I want to meditate in front of a warm fire, I want to sew puzzle pieces of fabric into colorful whimsical quilts, I want to read books that inspire me to dream with my eyes open, I want to play with my grandchildren and watch old movies and drink hot chocolate and gain twenty pounds and remember who I am.
Listen . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
My blogging buddy Sandy at My Inner Edge posted this poem last week with a photo and I just loved it so much I’m stealing it today and illustrating it with one of my own photographs for my not-so-wordless Wordless Wednesday entry!
At the crossroads, hens scratched circles
into the white dust. There was a shop
where I bought coffee and eggs, coarse-grained
chocolate almost too sweet to eat.
When I walked up the road, the string sack
heavy on my arm, I thought
that my legs could take me anywhere,
into any country, any life.
The air, dazzling as sand, grew dense
with light: bougainvillea spilled
over the salmon walls, the road
veered into the ravine. The world
could be those colors, the mangoes,
the melons, the avocado evenings
releasing their circles of moon.
I climbed the pink stairs, entered
the house as calm and ephemeral
as my own certainty:
this is my house, my key,
my hand with its new lines.
I am as old as I will ever be.
One of my favorite blogs to visit is the odd neighbor. It’s an illustration/poetry blog by a mysterious writer-illustrator who calls her self Catnapping (her friends call her “Cat” for short). Cat’s illustrations are always darling, often hilarious, and the haiku she sometimes writes to go along with her illos is perpetually clever. One of my favorite pieces of hers is the dove animation above. I used it once eons ago (with her permission of course) on my old blog and I wanted to share it again here at the new and improved bookbabie, enjoy!
The novel I’m writing right now is about love and how it changes people. I came across this poem by Maya Angelou and was amazed at how much it reflected what the characters in the book were going through. I saw a Sundance program with Ms. Angelou and Dave Chappelle once. She is such a force, gentle and wise and it was fascinating to see her share her words with a young man, who soaked them up as fast as she could speak them.
Touched by an Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.