Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm going home soon and all my family will be there plus Karima (after all of these years--ten, more? since last we saw one another) and Kathrine newly-back-home to hold its place and our first year with Joey as official bro (and so-welcome)and peaceful days with my Antonia and time to grieve together for P & C. This has been a year for being reminded of lots of things like how certain I was that I could not get the degree without some boy or other's help (so there!) or the certainty that things promised forever might really be so when most needed or cherished, or that I like things wildflower-beautiful, inadvertantly-so, not studied or re-tailored but real and good because they simply are--like cats. Some of the most enormous things that will ever happen to me happened this year--sort of quietly but huge. I feel lucky for the things in my world just now and hopeful about the rest and sad for some of the losses but sad the way you have to be to learn how to hold what you hold dearly.

Sorry gang for all the philosophy but it's been a time of big losses and gains. (And I'm not even factoring in football Columbus, sorry.)

And last night I dreamt about a wedding gown white as marshmallow fluff--that chemical white that spits back blue and in the dream I was stunned at the way the gown made me look so...blaringly-bride. I can't remember if it was for a wedding, if the groom I had in mind is the usual boy I mourn not marrying in dreams or if the gown was an artifact in itself because I kept remembering (in the dream) the creamy, old, heavy with cold glass beads and light chiffony-silk of the bodice all so vanilla-bean or nearly-custard in the vintage or eggshellish distincitively off-whiteness that I had purchased (in real life too) in a thrift store in Colorado and I was wondering why anyone should have two wedding gowns but again, I don't know what or who or if I was marrying anyone or anything. I remember feeling pleased at the girl in the mirror and that, rare thing, felt nice.

And because of that bride marrying even maybe amazement and because Cynthia lived just this way, I post a poem that will make one dear bear's teeth hurt but that I have to post because it will mean something to the people like Cynthia who wasn't a poetry-snob or a music-snob but just liked things that underlined really living each day which is why she married the amazement she did and why they loved the way we can only hope to get to love.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement,
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

-Mary Oliver

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