Friday, February 20, 2015

The Girl Raised By Wolves

On top of a hill with a view
Of the woods and the valley below
Where the grains touch their toes in the wind
Is a fine place to mark your beginning--

Where every day calls your small feet to explore
The uncharted paths stretching out your back door,
Which are carving their shapes in the map of your brain
Just as you make your mark on the terrain.

There's something about the vastness of Space
And the way that it rhymes with that other word, Grace,
That makes them the same sanctuary to those
Who have dwelt in their absence behind closed doors--

Where the walls listened in for the secrets but heard
Only childhood poems carving space between words
For the ache to which language can only aspire,
And the darkness which only tells truth when it lies.

It is thus that life calls to us, thus that we follow
The path through the thicket, the map of tomorrow.
Wherever the space opens up to contain us,
We open our doors to the path that awaits us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Effort of Stasis

There is a simple realization that I keep having over and over again throughout my life. And maybe it's no different than the Buddhist concept of "flux." It's just the idea that everything you see is in motion, on a course or a path, and that our perceptions are as immediately artificial as a snapshot. You gather a concept of a person or a thing in your mind and refer to it as if it were fixed, when in reality, it never is.

As a child, I used to see a thin or fit person and think, "Wow, they don't have to worry about what they eat," not realizing that every person's body is the shape of their habits, that what I see when I look at a person's shape is the accumulation of thousands of little actions, the routines by which they conduct themselves.

As I have become a home owner, I've learned that the same is true of buildings, that the picturesque homes through which I've walked are in a constant state of repair, one piece or another always being taken off and replaced. They hold their shape and appear fixed only because of constant effort.

All things are like this. In order to maintain the appearance that something is unchanged, we must change it constantly. Nothing requires more effort than stasis.