It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The Enlightened Heart- with thanks.
I didn't realize that this little book had traveled with me for so long. My oldest son gave it to me for my birthday in 1989, the year that I found out that the cancer I had fought so hard to eradicate was still in my body and had returned to mess with me again. The struggle to rid myself of breast cancer at 39 years of age had come once more, five years later and I faced even more therapies and decisions. It was not a good year.
...and then as the year came to a close, my son, who was going to college then, sent me this book. It was a lifeline. A beautiful, inspiring volume of words written by some of my favorite poets and filled with a way of thinking that helped me survive another year of living dangerously. Each page was a candle of light to guide me through a dark and scary passageway.
Now, it is filled with torn pieces of paper marking my favorite poems and old photos that for different reasons needed to be side by side with certain words and phrases. This small book has developed character and each poem has become a life companion.
Many things have happen in the last twenty years. People have come and gone from my life. But death has taken on a different meaning since then. It's not the menacing, premature destroyer that was going to take my life so many years ago. Now, it will be the final kindness. The secret that answers itself and the chance to widen the circle of my knowledge.
Chuang-tzu wrote, " When we understand, we are at the center of the circle, and there we sit while YES and NO chase each other around the circumference" . If you question at all the ideas of this world this last statement really hits home.
I prefer to think that it's about that HOLY GHOST, of which Mr. Gerard Manley Hopkins writes
" Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs....
because the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods....
with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. "
Thanks, my son, for this gift of hope when I needed it most. Thanks for your beliefs and the person that you are. You make a difference to everyone around you. You and your brother(the poet who will write his own book someday) are my true joy and happiness in this life.