THE LOWER WISDOM
|Rain and clouds outside my window to the southwest|
Rain has been falling for three days. North, west and east of Sunshine Hill rivers and creeks crest. I just looked at the Trip-Check camera for Siskiyou Summit. Can't see much, though it seems to be rain, not snow, even 2,000 feet higher than John and I live. I'm glad not to be in my car up there; glad to be in my writing room looking out at these lower mountains just west of me. Out the other window I see fog rolling in along Sterling Creek Road between us and Sam and Ken. Soon the world will seem to end just past the yard.
It's been a contemplative time since I last blogged, and the weather suits my mood. It's been a time of significant nightly dreams, long ponderings over what they might mean, intense periods of writing poetry and reflections that begin to resemble the beginnings of a new manuscript--a kind of memoir. John showed me an apt poem by Brenda Hillman -- "Little Furnace." Let me share it --
--Once more the poem woke me up,
the dark poem. I was ready for it;
he was sleeping,
and across the cabin, the small furnace
lit and re-lit itself--the flame a yellow
"tongue" again, the metal benignly
and a thousand insects outside called
and made me nothing;
moonlight streamed inside me as if it had been . . .
I looked around, I thought of the lower wisdom,
spirit held by matter:
Mary, white as a sand dollar,
and Christ, his sticky halo tilted--
oh, to get behind it!
The world had been created to comprehend itself
as matter: table, the torn
veils of spiders. . . Even consciousness--
missing my love--
was matter, the metal box of a furnace.
As the obligated flame, so burned my life . . .
What is the meaning of this suffering I asked
and the voice -- not Christ but between us -- said
you are the meaning.
No, no, I replied, That
is the shape, what is the meaning.
You are the meaning, it said--
(From BRIGHT EXISTENCE, by Brenda Hillman.
Thank you, Brenda.