Tuesday, September 20, 2011

remembering our little red head...


That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
has His hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions)
"it's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it-
books, bricks, grief-
it's all in the way you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled-
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

~Mary Oliver

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

little Brian and the wind...

If nothing else, convalescing gives one a chance to revisit old favourites, and I found myself seeking out Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell this past week.  The story begins through the eyes of a four year old, one of the engaging reasons for this mother to reread the tale.  On third reading, the story remains poetic, introspective, tender.  The kind of book a young 11 year old boy might pull from the school library shelf, and find a place of discovery, prairie wind, a reprieve from the bullies in a tough farm school (or so my husband tells it).

This time around, I was most struck by the freedom given the little ones; the freedom to wander and unearth their own "teachable moments", to observe life and death in their natural world as it is: a messy, astounding affair.  And how watching adults work was a big part of their learning.  It got me wondering about the effect of all that trust filling their little beings, and how, in such different times and spaces, such trust can be gained/afforded/nurtured.

And as before, the philosophical conversations between the town shoemaker, Milt Palmer, and school principal Digby, are some of my all-time favourite book dialogue:

     "Thinkin'. Gonna give her up.  Gonna quit. No point in her." 
     Digby handed him the other shoe.  "That's nice.  Why?"
     "I was lookin' at a tree the other day-Ain't much left besides the tops on these shoes."
     "What about the tree?"
     "It was doin' all right."
     "Without thinking," primed Digby.
     "Without thinkin'. I said to myself, 'That there tree is doin' all right, an' it's doin' it without thinkin'.  Me-I think-I'm havin' one hell of a time.'"
     "Are you?"
     "Yep, I'm givin' it up."