My brief review of a not so brief masterpiece…
My brief review of a not so brief masterpiece…
When the ground gives way to our tears,
it is vetting our vulnerabilities,
reversing the vehemence of treasures, forgotten;
intentions, maligned –
just long enough to trouble itself with our footprints.
Soil cracks and splits,
giving itself to the probing intrigue
of life – spacious, new, bon vivant.
Oh, this heart, designed to pound
in the direction of its own freedom!
Why must it refuse the trouble
of this painful newness?
Perhaps what pushes up from suffering
will answer the hard-soiled questions
best left unanswered –
until what once lay frozen
now graces the presence of sky?
Painting by Valerie Dodge-Reyna
My invitation remains open. Join me in the journey toward a story on paper? Share with me your impressions. What has moved you? Delighted you? Disgusted or enraged you? Your thoughts mean everything to me. As do you.
I love to write. Whether it loves me back is not for me to decide. The jury’s still out on that one. No matter. It doesn’t change the fact that I am compelled to tell people my story. Well, bits of my story. Bits of my unfolding story.
Why, you may ask? Because stories unite us. Jesus loved them. He had a particular attachment to stories. Parables to be exact. Parables are simultaneously beguiling and didactic. They amuse as they teach. They are immediate in their images and settings. It’s like we get to be in on the joke. And, their disarming specificity is surprisingly universal.
Once a story is rooted in the ground, where we all walk; once there is an address, a face, names, insider talk, maybe a joke or two, it becomes magnetic. They bring us together in ways few other things can. They are the campfire…
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I’ve posted this to my other blog, innerwoven.me. In case you’re not following me there, I wanted to share here as well. Why? Because I need your help, dear readers! Help me pull the book outta my head and onto “the page.” I appreciate you all!
So, dear friends, I need your help. I’ve had a book percolating in me for some time now. But I need your help in pulling it out and getting it down. I’m inviting you, my dear readers, to help guide me on this journey.
Many of you have faithfully followed along with my often random, esoteric ramblings, with grace and dedication. I am utterly gratified to be in this with you. Truly.
Of the pieces you’ve read, what has struck you most? Deepest? What are the bits and bobs that have most touched you, made you laugh, or cry, or angry? I mean, the kinds of bits you’d read more of were they to find themselves between covers? So, this is an open invitation to you, my beloved readers, to walk with me toward some as yet undetermined goal of a memoir.
I appreciate you all so much. Your input…
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Her voice is always clearer
when she breathes her way
to late sunset-thoughts,
and a thousand possible songs –
ready to sing, but with no
urgency to sing them.
They’ll wait, and when you’re not looking,
they’ll groom themselves
into symphonies of days where casual
melodies of lazy, guilt-free sun
harmonize your life.
Hush, speak slower. Say only
what words bring thought and chance,
laughter and hearts to find the same story.
Never let a single sentence pass
without introducing yourself as
someone ripe for more of the same.
Forget what losses brought you
to this place. Remember only that
which formulates in the bubbling folly
of untamed rivers of remembrance.
They always have much to say
when one is tuned to hear
riddles in the waltzing water.
But, if sing you must, let go
the notes, large or small,
ripe and raw, trembling with anticipation
of summer’s repast, tuned and teasing.
And, above all else, don’t sing alone.
These are the days well fitted for
the songs of neighbours.
Robert Alan Rife, May 29/18
Photo: The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland, 2016
Let us strive to understand why
artists of different stripes, through all our times,
have sought out darkness, terror, and woe.
Is this alone enough weight to serve the best
grist for the mill,
the most creative soil?
Some see hope only in pain – best straw for the man,
scare for the crow,
leaves for the tea.
But love yet remains the hottest kiln fire,
best ink or brush, chisel or note, key or bow.
The lover writes, paints, sings, sculpts, dances
her way to unleashed creativity, effortlessly
producing beauty in saying so.
Lose that love and comes a torrent of page-busting pain,
notes of mourning and loss,
all the colours of the universe distilled into singular grey.
Art becomes the dense power of the black hole,
sucking energy from anything unlucky enough
to be in proximity. It is pulled in,
crushed, passed through the dark,
then, released again, purified in travail.
Let the art come then from orbital gravity –
two heavenly bodies in mutual dance.
And, sometimes, great art still issues
forth from the flinging wildly into endless space,
victim of some heavenly collision.
The sculptor trains his eye on her flowing
body, chipping away what stone blocks
the way of the visage that drives him.
Shoot an arrow through her and the same
tools are used to take his own life.
Then, the composer, matching them both,
crushes grisled notes onto a tear-stain’d staff.
The musician throws note after throbbing note, dying
as on cloth all our emotions in each one. She loses a hand
to prepare the way for the still
broader statement of the one who writes of her loss.
It is all an exercise in drilling holes in the sternum
to siphon enough life-blood for the great gushing
onto page, stone, canvas, or staff
one’s gratitude or grief;
tears or triumph;
grist or glory.
There is good art in the good. Perhaps even better art in the bad.
There is art within art. Light from dark from light,
we find the most lasting thing tucked in
the gravitas of every moment.
The artist must find the kernels of beauty tucked
in a backwash world,
like chasing fog in the dark.
Let us begin.
We believe in being brave.
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