Lately, the facts of life in Haiti - tents, storm, cholera, riots - have been extremely depressing. But there's more to life than facts, right?
I dwell in Possibility
by Emily Dickinson
I dwell in Possibility --
A fairer House than Prose --
More numerous of Windows --
Superior -- for Doors --
Of Chambers as the Cedars --
Impregnable of Eye --
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky --
Of Visitors -- the fairest --
For Occupation -- This --
The spreading wide of narrow Hands
To gather Paradise --
I love this picture of gathering Paradise. There is so much beauty around us in the world and in other people. Possibility is a wonderful place to dwell.
For Emily Dickinson, gathering Paradise involved writing, and it does for me, too. (Not that I put myself in her league, or even anywhere near her league.) The other day I was overwhelmed by waves of emotion: fear, pain, love, gratitude. I felt almost that those emotions came from outside me. I closed my eyes and felt buffeted by them, unable to do a thing about it. But since I dwell in Possibility, I decided to write about it. Here's what I had at the end of my free period:
Floating on my back,
Face baking body cool,
Trusting the ocean to hold me up,
Mind empty of thought.
Without warning the wave submerges me.
Full of water,
Crushed by water.
Slammed into the sand,
Pinned down by a force outside myself,
A power that dwarfs my efforts to escape.
I struggle for air,
Claw towards the surface,
Where I will be myself again
Instead of nothing but a desire to survive.
How can you speak of controlling this wave?
This wave of pain-grief-love,
This wave that flings me onto the beach,
Gasping and covered with seaweed?
by Ruth from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
I have no illusions that this is a great poem or even a good one, but oh, I felt so much better after writing it. I felt more able to deal with myself and my surroundings. As I've said before on this blog, you can do what you want with words, move them around as you choose; not so people or circumstances. I can't control those waves of emotion but I can control what I do with them. It's part of gathering Paradise, writing it down, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the unbearable.
Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.
4 hours ago