Starlings in Winter
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
Good morning, good morning. It’s chilly here this morning, and I’m in my little
writing room with the candles lit the music very low, the dog curled up in her chair in a tight, small ball. We go walking a little in the yard under the misty moon. March is still winter in New England, but I have been finding some impossible signs of spring.
I had a very surprising experience yesterday – I felt wild joy. On Wednesday, after going for the first non-cone walk on the beach with Sophie after an operation to remove a little bit of her jaw (to remove a cancerous growth), I looked in the dry leaves and brown grass, made visible after all the snow melted over the weekend, and there, peeking up between branches and hay, were the tiny green shoots of crocus leaves. It seems altogether too early for this.
Good morning this Monday morning. Outside my window the thick grey fog is just beginning to lift, and the song birds have returned themselves to my feeder (now that I’ve replenished the seed stock). I’m back in the saddle today, even if the saddle has shifted, even if I am sitting in it a bit oddly in order to accommodate the pain that’s still wrangling with me. I’ve got the tea and the candle, I’ve got the quiet apartment (outside chainsaws and jackhammering notwithstanding) and I’ve got the pull into these words.
How are you rising into your (creative or other) saddle today?
This morning I am thinking about how different this month turned out from what I had originally planned. After leaving my day job back at the beginning of the month, I fully expected to erupt into busyness. There was so much I needed to do, now that I was my working hours were going to be devoted only to my writing and to writing ourselves whole: I’d opened conversations with many folks around the area about new writing workshop ventures; I had promotions work to do for the workshops scheduled to begin in January; there are two (just two?) books to write; I needed to figure out my weekly schedule, exercise every day, calendar lunch/coffee dates with friends and colleagues, run the puppy, go go go go go.
And then guess what happened? I’ve spent the month recovering/recuperating from a back spasm that hit me on the fourth day of my new life. Instead of continuing on with the busy that I have built a worklife and work-identity around, I was forced (allowed, allowed) to find a new way to interact with my work as my body took full-on precedence in my every day. Continue reading
This has exactly nothing to do with today's post, except that today's is a Declaring Our Erotic post, so it's an excuse for me to indulge in my shoe fetish...
Quick note: there’s some explicit sex in this post today — down in the prompt part. Just so you know. xo, Jen
So sleepy this morning — how did I used to stay up so late and still get up and write at 5? No more, I guess. Up by 5 means bed by 9-ish: working on that.
Yesterday it felt like all the mercury retrograde hit me at one time — bracelets broke, folders spilled all over the back of the car when I was trying to get to work early, items got misplaced and were unfindable, and at my primary work gig, I found myself feeling deeply out of place and on the wrong path entirely.
Mostly I manged to stay in a decent mood, going with the rather ragged (at least to this conscious brain) flow — there have been plenty of bad days, bad mood days, sad days recently, and I didn’t want to have another one. Still, by day’s end, I felt in need of a deep spiritual chiropractic adjustment. I was all achy inside, weird and out of sorts. I had a mostly non-dinner, started watching old monty python sketches on youtube, walked to the laundromat for quarters so I could do laundry, then turned on the tv to distract myself even further.
I watched tv for maybe 7 minutes then went into the bathroom to do manicure-ish things, turned on the radio which was tuned to KQED, and a voice was saying, “I have to read the old ones first because people seem to want me to …” and a little more and then the voice was reading “Wild Geese.” It was Mary Oliver, reading her own work, and I turned and rested against the sink and just listened. I let myself cry, get into the rhythm and the possibility of poetry, and was thankful.