But lately I have been looking at poems. Don't know why exactly. I have been kind of down in the mouth and poetry seems to open me up a little.
It all started with T.S. Eliot. Yeah, really. The Waste Land. Really. It is because of this difficult month that I sought it out. You can get things like this for free on your Kindle from the Gutenberg Project. We read this at university and I thought it obscure at the time. Of course I was a kid. This didn't really speak to me then. I have the experience to understand more of it now. It starts:
I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers.and goes on a little later:
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 20 You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
That last bit refers to the Book of Common Prayer that says from
dust we came and to dust we will return. Scary.
I just never understood Eliot until I started reading him now.
And I am just beginning.
What next? Well how about this meditation on the Mother.
That is Mother with a capitol "M".
Meditation for the Day: The Creation of Woman by Eva Ceskava
by Skinner House
I’m standing in your kitchen, Grandmother.
You and my mother are busy with late-morning housewifery.
The breakfast dishes are nestled in their cupboards.
The August sun has heated the corrugated tin cellar door;
Already it’s too hot for sliding down.
So I’ve been drawn inside to the aromatic chaos of your kitchen.
The evaporative cooler droning away in the front room provides the only relief
from the dry West Texas wind.
You are so very large,
oh, mother of mother, forbidding to one so small.
Yet you reach to hug me and I am lost in your enveloping flesh,
Your damp cotton dress sticking to us both.
Your large form rises from your throne at the end of the table.
Oh, Great Mother,
I watch in awe as you slap down the risen dough, punch and knead and form it,
Thou, Creatrix of the Universe,
Your huge arms and strong hands creating new shapes,
recognizable forms in miniature of our staff of life.
Sitting again, sighing under your own immense weight,
You catch sight of me and pull me close once more in a sweaty hug.
Then, holding my broad little face in your damp hands,
Your countenance brightens in self-recognition
and you call to my mother over your shoulder,
never dropping your gaze from my eyes, every bit as green as yours,
“Oh, Margaret, look.
We have made woman in our own image, after our likeness.
And it is very good!”
I am blessed.
Well, it gives you something to think about, doesn't it?
I think I need to spend more time with women friends. I stop thinking about myself so much and think about others when I do.
Or maybe I need to plan a new knitting project? I exchanged names for our guild Christmas in July/August and now I need to start thinking about something for her. How about this: