Christin's Words from Sunshine Hill

If it is to be music
you must be present to it, must offer to it
a profound self-remembering.
-from Altar Music

Friday, January 20, 2012


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
hard again;

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.

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