I've been gearing up for days to write a poem, and it still hasn't happened, but a friend posted these Wendell Berry lines on Facebook this week:
The painter Harlan Hubbard said
that he was painting Heaven when
the places he painted merely were
the Campbell or the Trimble County
banks of the Ohio, or farms
and hills where he had worked or roamed:
a house’s gable and roofline
rising from a fold in the hills,
trees bearing snow, two shanty boats
at dawn, immortal light upon
the flowing river in its bends.
And these were Heavenly because
he never saw them clear enough
to satisfy his love, his need
to see them all again, again.
Wendell Berry, from Leavings
I love the idea of those Heavenly things we keep looking at, keep seeing new sides of, new aspects. Maybe a place or an object stops being lovable to us the day we stop looking at it.
Recently my husband and I were sitting at a table in a restaurant. He told me I looked beautiful. I handed my camera to him and said, "If I look beautiful, take a picture so I can see what you see."
When I looked at his picture of me, all I could see were flaws, but it also made me smile because after all these years, he still wants to keep looking at me, to keep seeing me again and again and again, even as time and gravity and childbirth have taken their toll. Like Harlan Hubbard, painting and repainting those same homey Ohio scenes, he still hasn't seen me "clear enough." He keeps looking.
Here's this week's roundup.
4 hours ago