Love and hope and memory

when you go home tell them
of us and say ‘for your
tomorrows we gave our today’

i

perhaps you did not
see one hundred years ahead
yet Sir you graced each

ii

thank you for singing
love and hope and memory
as you gave your all

iii

you did not know me
but sacrificed anyway and now
live in Love in all

SRM – MM Haiku 51 Day 81

Time to say

alarm-clock-2132264_1280
photo at pixabay

Looking at the sky

I never will have time
I never will have time enough
To say
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
As easily
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.

I never will have time enough
To praise
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.

Anne Porter
Living Things: Collected Poems, 2006

This lovely poem brings forth a question in me, perhaps intentionally. The poet writes ‘I never will have time enough to say …’ – and I understand the poetic gist readily enough. But is it true for me? Have I not time enough to say all that I need or want to say? So I follow Anne Porter’s example and head out for a few moments to look up at the night sky. And in my heart I find it is enough. Indeed it isn’t really necessary to say anything at all. Yes, enough. In this moment there is time. And perhaps tomorrow there’ll be some more.

Surprise

river.jpg
river | sonja langford | photo at Snapwire

Fluent

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

John O’Donohue
Conamara Blues

You’re like the hymnal on two legs! – a schoolfriend told me long ago. It’s a lovely thing that having loved poetry for a long, long time, a flow of perpetual encouragement and inspiration lives deep in heart and soul.

I’ve lost count of the number I’ve known of wonderful elderly people, and sick people – my own dear Dad presently among these – who, though sometimes unable to remember what they want or had for breakfast, can recite dozens of poems, psalms and songs. At his prompting Dad and I sang Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins, in the hospital earlier this week. That singing – and that message – will stay with me for the rest of my days.

… All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you …

The late, great, John O’Donohue speaks to me for weeks on end sometimes. One of the joys of my life is meditation, shared with a worldwide community – some of whom, myself included, are in the habit of sharing a line or two of reasons for gratitude, or hopes for growth, with one another. Time and again the image of a river is expressed, together with surprise, unfolding, and real attempts to live life fluently.

Oh Dad! You’ve known a thing or two about Wisdom:

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you …

Thank you: for being so … fluent.

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Examine for a while

tree-2435269_1280
photo at pixabay

I have learned from long experience that there is nothing that is not marvellous and that the saying of Aristotle is true – that in every natural phenomenon there is something wonderful, nay, in truth, many wonders. We are born and placed among wonders and surrounded by them, so that to whatever object the eye first turns, the same is wonderful and full of wonders, if only we would examine it for a while.

John de Dondis, 14th century
quoted in J S Collis
The Worm Forgives The Plough, 1973, p170

Plenty of reason to have a good English moan about continuing rainfall today – or to sit down to a meditation session, having first noticed the magnificent, soaring canvas of clouds in every shade and hue of grey on high, and the all-the-more-glorious advent of sunlight from time to time, so that the potatoes in our kitchen garden are both moistened and warmed, beneath the chunter and fuss of thirty or so disgruntled sparrows who don’t appear to like rain much. Or meditation.

Open your eyes gently and focus upon just one wonder for a while, breathed the guide – in the fourteenth century. And I did – on this wet July day in the twenty-first. And as it turned out there was no moaning about the rain. Or anything else.

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Questions and no answers

Make no mistake, I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort. As long as I have questions and no answers I’ll keep on writing.

Clarice Lispector
Hour of the Star

There’s no music without depth of silence upon which to paint notes. Often I have shared my love of ‘silent music’ – the spaces in between. Absence of answers, the unfinished, the infinite, the eternal, the questions – are as important to me as expressed chords and symphonies, every bit as important to me as the words I yearn to read, and shape upon my tongue, and set down upon a page, and have engraved upon my heart, occupying my days and nights, my soul-work, my love, my leisure.

It’s not arriving, or the making of judgments, proclamations, speeches or songs that draws me towards the eternal. It’s living with questions that have no trite answers. Writing, reading, making poetry and prayer, long-savouring notes and words, meditating before the great backdrop of silence. Effort. Gratitude. Occasionally glimpsing an Eden of simplicity.