hope, letting go, nature, poetry, time

One of These Days

by Carmen H Gray

One of these days I’ll get it right

I’ll learn to lean into the lightness of the wind

And I’ll borrow a song from the sea

I’ll set all sadness aside and I’ll mend

The hollowed out grief inside of me

One of these days I’ll not care one bit

I’ll find myself nonplussed from the fuss

Regardless of the constant lurch

And pivot turns, going backwards, thus

I’ll regenerate regardless, like a silver birch

One of these days, I’ll surprise myself

I’ll look back on it all and smile inside

I’ll peek at the front of the tapestry, whole

And get the messiness of the other side

While I hum a hymn that resides in my soul

One of these days, you’ll understand, too

One of these weeks, or months or years

You’ll glide like that red-tailed hawk in the sky

Aware of what from below appears

Seeing everything from afar and nearby

hope, living, mental health, moments, nature, time

Conversations with My Father

by Carmen H Gray

From the novel, Wild Animals I Have Known, by Ernest Thompson Seton

How do you have a conversation with your father when he isn’t quite himself? I’ve been learning to navigate this recently. Tonight I called him to check in on the state of things. He informed me that his sitter had been ensuring that he eats and drinks. He also gave high praise to the people working at the hospital, telling me that they were kind and helpful, but not too helpful because they had to push you do things for yourself as much as you could. He told me about his foibles and again brought up the name of one nurse named Rosa, whom he particularly favored because she was “perhaps even bossier than your mother”.

“What are your big plans for the night?”, I asked him.

“Well, they’ll give me medicine soon that’ll knock me flat,” he answered.

“What will you do in the meantime? Have you attended any classes today?”, I inquired.

“Nope, I just stay in bed most of the day and think about things,” he answered.

I then remembered that I had in my possession several novels by one of his favorite childhood author’s, Ernest Thompson Seton. He’d given me these books 3 years ago and I remembered him telling me he thought my students may enjoy them, but I never did take them to my classroom.

I am glad I didn’t, because I decided maybe it would be a good idea to read to him. So I found the novel, Wild Animals I Have Known in my upstairs library. The first story in the novel is about Old Lobo, a very clever and powerful wolf who evades the exasperated humans. It was written in 1898 and the setting is in Northern New Mexico. My father has always been a nature lover. I stopped every couple of paragraphs to reflect on the story with him and he knew all the characters and the highlights of what we were reading-he told me he’d memorized all of Seton’s stories. I enjoyed reading to him and after about 30 minutes or so, decided it was time to stop and save the next chapter for our next phone conversation. He told me he really liked hearing the story and that it made his evening even better. Before I got off the phone I told him about a dream I’d had two nights ago. I was at the home of his parents. I walked around all of the rooms and though I did not see them, I felt their presence in their home. I walked him through each of the rooms with my words and he recalled those places in his own mind.

After we got off the phone, I remembered a poem a friend had posted recently, The Peace of the Wild Things. And it gave me pause because it is exactly why my father has always held an affinity for nature. I look forward to more adventures with Old Lobo, for he has more days to live yet.

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

beauty, hope, living, moments, nature, poetry

Courageous

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”

― Lucius Annaeus Seneca

An act of courage is as unnoticeable as breathing

(to the outside observer)

When you’ve kept everything stored up for a potential moment

That has yet to materialize

It is the unfurling of a leaf

The action directly following an extended pause

I don’t agree with Seneca

It’s not some times

It is all of the time

Living is an act of courage

It isn’t involuntary

Like I was taught in biology classes

It’s more like:

Lungs, breathe

Anger, seethe

Heart, beat

Move, feet

Fingers, feel

Feelings, heal

Eyes, blink

Brain, think

Living is an act of courage

So I salute you, my courageous one

Living courageously each minute

Each hour

Each day

Each year

And I honor the beauty you bring to us all

hope, living, nature, poetry, Uncategorized

Suspended

For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,

Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.

So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain: Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

-Amanda Gorman

Suspended

by Carmen H Gray

Fold yourself gently into it, my love

Suspension is the pause

Before you let yourself step further

Even if you trip, have confidence

In the fall

The sweet earth

Contains a purpose for you:

Soft grass reminds you to lean into her for comfort

Icy streams awaken your senses that are dulled

Vast meadows with their worlds within worlds

Show you there is always more to examine

And even the harsh desserts

Where the sea once was

Have vestiges of a former way of being

To teach you

Life can change

And shift, yet even so, it adapts

Everything you need is

Where you are

Let yourself fall a little back to earth

Forces pull you downward, inward

For a reason

living, moments, mystics, nature, poetry, time

The Ancients

by Carmen H Gray

one of the many trails I’ve hiked in the pacific northwest

Time passes

it is a path of fallen petals

strewn across soundlessly, like dew drops

upon fresh blades of grass

they are just as temporal

each petal holds a moment

whereby a day was lived,

gladly or sadly

depending on the circumstances

they disintegrate

softly curling inward

becoming part of the footpath

where little bare feet tread

scattering with the wind

and nestling into the ground

resting under layers

of newly fallen petals

the soil and rocks

collectively guarding all

the knowledge and secrets

of each day lived

and each night spent

here on earth

letting go, moments, nature, poetry

hands

hands by Carmen H Gray

the ice was crisp and forming

on the leaves of my plants

i had tended

i knew each leaf, each flower

i could almost feel their cells,

filling with tiny shards of ice

cutting them open and destroying plant tissue

which made me grieve their deaths

but it wasn’t until i saw that man

on the side of the road

whose delicate cells were simultaneously dying

that my heart leapt outside of my chest

on this icy day

in this tale of two cities

brimming with the new Elon Musks

and the homeless, what a juxtaposition

the last part of his body i noticed

were his hands

which could have belonged to any one of us, really

living, moments, mystics, nature, poetry

The Light that Pervades All Things

“Whether you worship Christ, Krishna, Kali or Allah, you actually worship the one Light that is also in you, since It pervades all things.”

― Anandamayi Ma

The Light That Pervades All Things

by Carmen H Gray

Within you there is a light

It has a certain miraculous quality that gives it momentum

To traverse the stars

To change the course of any path

Simply by beaming

To act upon anything beyond itself

Creating dynamic evolution

You can find it in the strangest moments

Washing someone’s hair

Learning a language

Pausing to breathe

Noticing the layers in a single rose

Listening to the crickets chirping in the night

Or the frogs singing their chorus

Seeing yourself

Seeing others

In other words, living

Not just merely surviving

Lends itself to shining

The Light That Pervades All Things

art, ethereal, living, moments, mystics, nature

Truth Teller

owl

art & poem by Carmen H Gray

 

Harbinger of Truth

Night Scout

Spirit of the hidden realms

You called out

Before dayspring with its auspicious, tender light

Caught me, heedless in my faraway flight

Who? Who? You asked

And I heard the question

Though I found no origin

Surrounding my perception

What were you foraging?

So attentive to the starkness

A keen awareness to the rustling

Of flight wings in darkness

Harbinger of Truth

Night Scout leave-taking

Giving me pause

As dawn was breaking

Benediction with a farewell sigh

As you moved swiftly

Into the violet-gray sky