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Daily Archives: May 2, 2017

i thank You God for this most amazing

When I taught, I used e. e. cummings not just during poetry lessons, but to point out to students we did not always have to follow rules when writing. Following Cummings’ writing, I told students to get thoughts down on paper and we could edit later.

Cummings did not break rules of writing in his poetry. As we see in the first line of this poem, he capitalized two words.

I took the message as opening my eyes and ears to the world around me. As I walked this morning, I noticed birds chirping. One scrambled to hide under a truck parked along the street. In another place, there was a smell of something rotting, maybe someone fertilizing. The wind was chilly, but, when the sun emerged from hiding, i warmed me.

The sounds, sights, smells, touches of the world awaken my senses on those walks. They are like the flow of water I hear from a distance as I approach the river that tumbles over the edge. When I am mindful, I sense nature in a fuller way.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

We took this picture in Yellowstone.

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The Opening of Eyes

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” — Einstein

Several years ago, Kathy and I were in Jasper National Park. We had gone for a drive and stopped at an overview of a valley. The rest area was quite large and we walked around it trying to get different views of the valley.

We noticed something at the far end of the area just on the other side of the low stone wall. We moved quietly towards it and realized it was a young elk, probably a cow. She sat almost perfectly still, posing for the camera.

David Whyte wrote this lovely poem about the opening of eyes. That evening, if our eyes had not been open, we would not have seen the elk quietly laying there with only her head showing above the wall. It begs the question: How much do I miss even with my eyes open? What solid ground do I miss as a I move through life with closed eyes?

The elk would have known we were there, but we took precautions to be still and quiet so to not stress her. The attention to quiet in a quiet place by a wild animal reminded me of opening my eyes to experience the world more fully.

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

 

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