Monday, May 9, 2011

a poem

I'm coming off two long weeks of intense studio time. Many might think that my time spent pouring over my jewelry projects is an an aesthetic pursuit at best . And I might have agreed with those folks a year ago. My dear friend Anna, a hobby artist by night, says that pursuing art makes us human, and I finally understand what's she's meant all these years. I have become immersed in this new task, and I have found a new side of my self in the work. I think my hands were always waiting for these new found metal smithing skills and my mind was brimming with design ideas without me knowing. Though the long nights and loss of sleep were hard, I am so proud of the work I completed. My studio pal, Beth, always says when someone completes a piece "how satisfying!" with this sort of honey in her voice, and she means it--crafting metal vessels you can hold in your hand, wear around your neck, display on a shelf is so, so very satisfying. It's bringing me back to roots I've wanted to get back to for so long. I am after all the daughter of a custom woodworker, and I wiled away many hours in the dusty garage watching my father turn cherry wood into tables, walnut into cabinets.

In any case, as I am emerging from the cocoon of (what seemed like) constant hand crafting I am feeling a rather rare bout of sentimentality. And when this happens, I tend to go to my poetry anthologies and have a few good teary eyed reads (ahem, tease me not, I embrace these times). I found this poem and had to share:

Riding Out At Evening

At dusk, every thing blurs and softens..
from here out over the long valley,
the fields and hills roll up
the first slight sheets of evening,
as, over the next hour,
heavier, darker ones will follow.

Quieted roads, predictable deer
browsing in a neighbor’s field, another’s
herd of heifers, the kitchen lights
starting in many windows. On horseback
I take it in, neither visitor
nor intruder, but kin passing , closer
and closer to night, its cold streams
rising in the sugarbush and hollow.

Half-aloud, I say to the horse,
or myself, or whoever, let fire not come
to this house, nor that barn,
nor lightning strike that cattle.
Let dogs not gain the gravid doe, let the lights
of the rooms convey what they seem to.

And who is to say it is useless
or foolish to ride out in the falling light
alone, wishing, or praying,
for particular good to particular beings
on one small road in a huge world?
The horse bears me along, like grace,

making me better than what I am,
and what I think or say or see
is whole in these moments, is neither
small nor broken. For up, out of
the inscrutable earth, have come my body
and the separate body of the mare:
flawed and aching and wronged. Who then
is better made to say be well, be glad,

or who to long that we, as one,
might course over the entire valley.
over all valleys, as a bird in a great embrace
of flight, who presses against her breast,
in grief and tenderness,
the whole weeping body of the world?

-Linda McCarriston

There's much heft to this poem to be worked through, but for now I will just say that I love the line "The horse bears me along, like grace,/making me better than what I am", and I feel it's so true for me. More on that another day. Good night ;)

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