Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Scribblings: Wit

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is wit.

A metaphysical poem. The universe, our human spirit, and this dramatic thing called life. A definition of love or rather, a love of definition. Wit, irony, and wordplay.

This is one of my favorites from one of the metaphysical poets.

by Andrew Marvell

MY Love is of a birth as rare
    As 'tis, for object, strange and high ;
It was begotten by Despair,
    Upon Impossibility.

Magnanimous Despair alone
    Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble hope could ne'er have flown,
    But vainly flapped its tinsel wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
    Where my extended soul is fixed ;
But Fate does iron wedges drive,
    And always crowds itself betwixt.

For Fate with jealous eye does see
    Two perfect loves, nor lets them close ;
Their union would her ruin be,
    And her tyrannic power depose.

And therefore her decrees of steel
    Us as the distant poles have placed,
(Though Love's whole world on us doth wheel),
    Not by themselves to be embraced,

Unless the giddy heaven fall,
    And earth some new convulsion tear.
And, us to join, the world should all
    Be cramp'd into a planisphere.

As lines, so love's oblique, may well
    Themselves in every angle greet :
But ours, so truly parallel,
    Though infinite, can never meet.

Therefore the love which us doth bind,
    But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the mind,
    And opposition of the stars.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Scribblings: Rest

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is rest.

Five years ago we met a boy named Ben. He worked at our favorite bakery, between a bustling college campus and Smith-Hill's, an old grocer, where you might find a wistful old-timer roused by nostalgic candy. A towering park scattered its scents around these seasoned dwellings. It was home to Ivy Garden, where the resident gardener was called Daisy, who spent her days following the Gulf Fritillary along passion vines. A miniature town of fairy tales settled in next to the park amphitheater, which held stone pillars and semicircular seats. The stage, set in the center, anxiously awaiting the next Shakespearean fest. Perhaps a session of swords drawn over the Count of Monte Cristo or where Present Laughter spills from the Twelfth Night.

This was one of the most charming neighborhoods in town, where people were happy and the dogs they walked were happy. Where the stay-at-home mother types jogged behind their strollers and occasionally wandered into the bakery looking for peppermint teas and exquisite slices of layered decadence.

When the season is ripe for love cupid sits on top of their cupcakes. Inside, the colors were plum and cherry and heart-shaped cookie cutters carefully sliced beeswax. These silhouettes of tender kisses and soft passion hung above the walls. This is where we found Ben.

He was tall and angry. He didn't belong in our bakery but he was wiping the tables. He said that he felt a distasteful spirit from them and then he lost his job. Maybe he shared too many opinions there.

Our new friend did not have a home. He lived in a threatening neighborhood, he carried few possessions in a bag. His bed was in a garage, one that he couldn't pay for any longer. We brought him home one day. I hoped that he felt settled. We gave him a beverage, he talked about Tolstoy. He gave us a list of books to read. His eyes wandered around the room, I wondered what he thought. Pictures hung over an old chimney, still moments along the ocean, blankets lying against its shore, a glimpse at my own sandy feet.

Ben asked for a sweater but he didn't want to stay. We offered him change, he thanked us and said he would be fine. We held onto his list. He says that he will head into town but we know he has no place to go. I know that he is self-sufficient, he's articulate and he holds onto important words. He hopes that the world will change one day. When he leaves, we call him Commi Ben.

My husband is in town one evening, picking up dinner, when he finds Ben sitting on a bench. His hair is tattered and he is tired but he wants to talk about Karl. My husband listens. Our friend carries a red manifesto. He says that he is on his way back to his family. They live along the other coast where his brothers are in college with pretty girlfriends. Maybe girls who would stop in for warm tea and poetic chatter in our bakery.

My husband met him the following night. Ben asked him for books. I told him to take another sweater. We may have silently prayed for him to make his way back home. We may have believed that he hoped for the same.

The season changed. Love floated away with the wind. Leaving thirsty gardens, where dewberries welcomed the sun. I carried a bean in my tummy that summer. On the weekend, I wandered around downtown alone. I found Ben. He held his head low. His face was stained and his eyes were hollow. I bought him a meal. He devoured it. I bought him juice. He didn't talk about the Panthers or the struggles in the sand. He wanted to know that we were ok. He didn't mention the world, the one with limits, nor the ones who abandon it for hope. He thanked me, genuinely and said that he'd find his way home.

We filled a shelf with his list of books. 

If you asked me to tell you the rest of Ben's story, I couldn't.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Scribblings: Lesson

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is lesson.

Eira wrote a note to her mother 
before she closed her eyes and let her hands go.

Where the wind blows steadily, in our old neighborhood, 
nothing is left.

The roads have cracked. The light and the air are no longer clear.

Tree and brush are scattered everywhere. In between the blows, 
I hear you cough.

The stone is covered in viscous moss, 
where you sowed your last seed.

Beyond the tattered lamp light and the dense fog, something awakens.

Snow begins to melt. 
The mold is still pink, but most of the shoots survive.

I can't help but smile. Our place is like honey now. 
Flowing. And fluent.

The print belongs to me. The light is real here. 

My dream no longer casts a shadowy color across a cloaked distance. 

My eyes are satisfied. I've learned to see. The wool pulled out from over my eyes. 

I'm still alone, yet I no longer suffer from a heavy heart.

I am starting to thaw, melting into speckled frost.

When the masked face whispered to you, you took his hand.

I have collected my breath; I am eager to ripen.

I am ready to die and wander again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy Tenth Year, Siddhartha

A whole decade with Siddhartha and it feels almost full circle. He isn't my baby anymore, he's more than our son. These days I find myself going to him when I need a certain type of comfort, the type when you just need to talk and know that someone will listen. The type of moment where a heartfelt smile means more than an answer. These days, my son Siddhartha, is more of a friend.

For anyone who knows him, genuinely, understands the way he is. He's easy. He's just there, at ease, warm and earnest. I admire his content. His willingness and his air, the one that reeks of: I've got it all under control.

He travels, leisurely. For him, gathering friendship is simple. He's cordial and natural, sort of a marshmallow kid.

Imagine having him on your team. Or being able to call him Brother.

We are blessed with a family full of so many adorable and majestic children. A jungle of laughter and light. Yet, so often in this house, life entwines, leaving us feeling like spiders, almost too close; standing out is not always an option in this lace of identity.

To me, Siddhartha is simple and free. His disposition is charming. With him, the air is always settled.

The other day, I asked him for words. Words that he would store for himself. This is what he shared with me:

good sport
the guy with a joke

He is one of those who are close to their core. My dexterous son.

Happy Birthday Siddhartha!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Gift for a Sweet Friend

A friend came over to play recently.
For me, it was reason to weave and knot.
I used blue and purple and another sea color hue.
And a trinket, a swan or dove, a flower and a bird,
or whatever she may think up.
It was a happy birthday, a while back, for a sweet friend named Iris.


A note to the "rainbow" goddess.
The one who holds the castle in the air.
My compliments to her faith and wisdom. A little promise in love.
I can hear her harmonious thoughts, half way across.
With that centered eye of yours,
I can find you anywhere.

The Fleur-delis, de la fancaise.
A whole spectrum of bloom.
Whimsical and magical. Elegant.
Flowers and dust.

Golden and winged.
The sea and the sky. "The wondrous" one.
Her arch, in curtsy, between the sea and the sun.