Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A couple weeks late

I came across this poem today, one I'd come across before and liked enough to copy out. Reading it tonight reminded me of the New Year's Eve just past and the feeling I had as I watched the last seconds of 2007 count down and disappear. I was sad to see 2007 go--it was an amazing year. I'm given to nostalgia anyway, but these last lines resonate: "...while something else / wonderful dies."

I'm usually unsettled when the calendar pages are blank, when the future is uncertain, when "No plans come to mind." I usually have far too many plans: many sets of options and contingencies, Plan A and Plan B and plenty of other letters after that. Lately I've been learning to "stand there with my hands out," open to receive what's next instead of grasping for it. I'm trying some things on, seeing how they fit. And I'll let you know.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Over our heads the words hung down
with giant sparkling margins.
I was try-trying again
every day of my life.
That's why I've been followed
by stacks of blank notebooks, why
any calendar page with nothing written on it
strikes me full of ravenous joy.

When a year changes,
the little stuffed man
pitches into the flames,
his paper-bag body fattened by
ragged lists, crumpled mail.
Between 8 P.M. when I scrawl
the vanishing year on his chest
and midnight, we fall in love.

His rueful grin, his crooked hat!

He burns fast in the backyard pit.
Then a deep quiet plucked by firecrackers
under a weirdly lit city sky.

No plans come to mind.
I just stand there with my hands out
in smoke while something else
wonderful dies.


| posted by Barbara | 6:20 AM