When I woke up this morning and went out to let the duck and chickens into the run and get the paper, a poem almost came to me. I remember when I did, in fact, take the time to stop and write when this happened and it was so wonderful and mysterious and frustrating and all of the emotions. But what I was thinking about was that it seems to me that as I grow older I am more and more satisfied with being outside. That it becomes increasingly important and absolutely necessary for me.
And that perhaps, just perhaps, this is because as I grow older death becomes more of a reality than a less-than concrete possibility and I can almost feel the need to merge now with nature, to really know my place in it and all of the cycles of all of the living things within it.
The phrase which came to my mind as I walked out into this beautiful day where the trees led my eyes to the sky and I could feel the life all around me, churning and growing and breathing and dying was, "I am practicing the Buddhist art of disappearing."
Which makes no sense. I seriously doubt that Buddha espoused disappearing although what do I know?
And that is true. I don't know much and the older I get, the less I understand the ways of men and women but the ways of nature may sometimes be incredibly baffling and mysterious but the cycle of it all, that death and rebirth, that response to air and to sun and to water- these things are more and more clear to me daily and I can positively feel that the hurricane lilies are about to shoot up and I look for the camellia buds and there they are, beginning to swell for this winter's opening and I know it is almost time to get the garden ready for greens and onions and carrots. I feel these things in my blood and they are real. I know them and I see the way the light falls, shadow and shade, I feel the way the air feels, I hear the way the crickets chirp, I can see the way the fungus and ferns take the downed branches and trees back to dirt and when it rains, I can smell the clean, good rot of it and it smells like renewal as well as death.
Nature doesn't waste much.
Nor do I believe it will waste me either. Not in flesh matter or soul matter. I see the fact of that all around me, I take great comfort.
Lon and Lis left this morning and yes, I did cry. These people have been a part of my life for so long now. I remember they were here when Katrina was heading towards New Orleans and Lon said, "New Orleans is not going to be all right."
They were with us when Princess Diana died and I was with them when the Twin Towers fell. Weddings and births and deaths- we have been through all of these together. These are the big events, or at least some of them that we have shared but oh- the small ones!
The giggles until we are breathless. The rides to the coast in the convertible. The music, the food made and taken together, the toasts, the jokes, the smiles and the tears. They know me and they love me. I know them and I love them. We understand each other.
I asked my husband this morning when I talked to him on the phone if we could marry them.
He said we could.
I tear up and smile at the same time, thinking of that.
I do not want to disappear entirely. Eventually, it will appear that I have, as it will for all of us.
And even as I begin to merge more and more with the natural cycle of it all, I do still feel rooted by the love I have for people. My husband, my children and my grandchildren.
The people who I love and am loved by.
Not just rooted but made visible.
This is some of what I wanted to write in a poem but poetry takes a fine blade and a sharp one and right now it seems as if my blade, though serviceable, is a bit clumsy and dull.
Still, I use it. The knife I have.
Hello. How are you? I am glad you are here, part of it all. Not just for me, but for this entire universe. Go outside today, if you can and take a moment to feel your place in it all. It's there. I promise. And it is splendid.
All love...Ms. Moon
This blog, your daily writing, IS poetry. I feel better for reading it, every day.ReplyDelete
your wrote your poem with a fine sharp blade. and yet it is like shimmery gauze in a renewing breeze, like cooling water over smooth stones, like love. your wrote your poem right here. and i'm grateful for every word.ReplyDelete
I wish you could marry them and all live together! I would firmly support that.ReplyDelete
I heartily echo what Nora said, you words and stories are poetry, I am also grateful for every wordReplyDelete
This is absolutely gorgeous and wise and the most comforting thing I've ever read about mortality.ReplyDelete
Bawling bawling bawling.ReplyDelete
As I crawl around in my yard today, I stop to take a break and check your blog and there you are, all love and light and full of earthy goodness.
Your post is poetry. Pure and simple.
Love to you today and always.
You wrote a lovely poem, Mary, that I will take with me through the rest of my day - truly.ReplyDelete
And I love that you have such a wonderful life. I see glimpses of my life within yours and realize that I too have a wonderful life.
It's funny but it has become very important for me to eat outside. I feel a little uncomfortable when I have to eat inside and it is a joy when I can cook over fire. Even in the cold I wrap up and spend as much time out there as possible. It just seems right.
I feel certain that if I knew I was dying, I would want to be outside as much as possible. And if I couldn't be, I'd be asking my husband to punch a big hole in the wall and put a giant window there so my bed could be right next to it and I could see outside all day, and ideally that window could open so I could hear the birds and smell the air.ReplyDelete
Also, when I have received the worst news of my life, my instant reaction (once I got up off the floor) was to go outside and to nature for comfort. I don't think it actually was a comfort, but still that was the only place I wanted to be; I couldn't remain cooped up inside.
I like your explanation of the urge to be in nature once we begin to feel our mortality. It makes sense.
Count me in for the crowd that says your writing IS poetry. Said it before and no doubt I'll say it again.ReplyDelete
I, too, find nature comforting. Except when it's trying to kill me. I'm glad we have two temperate seasons here, so I can get outside at least half the year without being fried, frozen, drowned or blown away.
What a lovely post.ReplyDelete
Ms. Moon sometimes I think I want to leave my body to science because I am so scared of bugs. Now is that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard. You might even disown your adopted daughter or maybe you can teach me your ways so I can be just as amazing as you?ReplyDelete
I feel the way you feel about being in nature.ReplyDelete
And I tie that to your line of poetry. We kinda disappear in the world of nature. It is big we are small.
Nora- Thank you. Thank you for coming here.ReplyDelete
Angella- But I miss that art and ability to make it all clear in just a few word images. Well. I do what I do. And I am so fucking grateful to be able to do it. Thank you.
Jo- I'm sure it would be such a chaste and loving marriage. And we would be four to help and sustain each other! Well, we already are in a way.
Barbara- And I am grateful for you.
Ms. Vesuvius- I'm glad. This feels like how it really is to me.
Heart In Hand- We are both very earthy, you and me. I am so glad we've found each other.
And hey- I cried, writing it. I did.
liv- Isn't it odd, how we are becoming drawn to the outside? How can any house's walls compare to the sky, the trees? You know I love my house so much and I am so grateful for it, but I just love being outside or on the porch where I can see and hear and taste it all.
Stubblejumpin'gal- "I couldn't remain cooped up inside." Yes. Sometimes we need all of the outside to hold our feelings. That is a huge part of it.
jenny_o- Well, you know that my outside is constantly trying to at least torment me. And yet- I love it. Soon we shall have fall and it will be beautiful.
A- Thank you!
Joanne- Leaving your body to science is about the least wasteful thing I can imagine. So you have a thing about bugs. Whatever. I have a thing about crowds. We are all a part of it. I swear.
Denise- Amen, amen, amen.
Your poem is there! You DID write it!ReplyDelete
Buddha did espouse connection with all things and absence of self, which in a way is disappearing. You're not wrong about that.
I love the idea of dying and disappearing entirely. I wouldn't want a grave or a stone or anything left behind. I just want to vanish.
Steve Reed- Yes. When our corporeal remains are no longer needed to house our souls, let them go!ReplyDelete