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For Early Birds Like Me

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
—Rumi

Spring, and the Art of Losing

The end of winter may be the most melancholy time of year. It’s not melancholy like November, when the last of summer sweet disappears into early darkness. It’s not melancholy like February, when we lose hope that anything will ever be easy again. March’s melancholy is a gentle sadness encircling early spring, when we bask in new light and warmth, and grasp at every precious ray of new sun; when we remember what (and who) is no longer here to share our joy. The losses are necessary, perhaps–the worn-out do not tolerate beginnings–but harsh, like the bright after a long season of shadows.

It reminds me of that wonderful poem by Elizabeth Bishop:

One Art
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Every Winter Is the Winter of Our Discontent

“I cannot get you close enough, I said to him, pitiful as a child, and never can and never will. We cannot get from anyone else the things we need to fill the endless terrible need, not to be dissolved, not to sink back into sand, heat, broom, air, thinnest air. And so we revolve around each other and our dreams collide. It is embarrassing that it should be so hard. Look out the window in any weather. We are part of all that glamour, drama, change, and should not be ashamed.”—Ellen Gilchrist. (Painting by Alice Neal.)

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy