Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Make a Wish

Though always restless when I'm in the middle of any of life's trajectories, at the end of things I'm always wistful, full of regrets for every which way I wasn't at my best for the duration.

At the beginnings of things I'm overflowing with resolve, determined to make what's ahead the best. When I start, my eye is on the prize. And the prize is ... the end? Hmmm. Maybe I think of the prize as the top of the curve, the height of the thing, rather than the inevitable slide down to the death of the endeavor.

Right now, just five working days from my last day at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill, I'm having my moment of wistfulness. I even wrote a poem about leaving - for heaven's sake! I am no poet, believe you me! Drama queen, yes indeed. Oh yeah.

Though fully conscious of my patterns, nevertheless my behaviors persist. Go figure!


Steve said...

Just being conscious of our patterns doesn't make them go away. And thank goodness -- your patterns make you you!

Professor Montblanc said...

Oui, your patterns make you the woman of great feeling great passion that you are. I am liking the photographs, the water is so clear, the dandelion so fuzzy, our lives are these two things.

Reya Mellicker said...

No wonder you're a professor! Wow! I didn't think about clarity and fuzziness, but yeah!! Very cool. Thank you.

How do the French say "wow" ??

deborah said...

seems to me
all thing are cycles (patterns)
seems a natural organic thing

i've stayed too long instead of
accepting the 'natural' cycle
you courageously allow the endings and beginnings in their organic flow

i applaud you and bless you and love you

phd girl said...

Hey Onward and Upward

say yes to wistful, then say goodbye!

They will miss you!

Washington Cube said...


Amy Lowell wrote a poem called Patterns...Let's see....


I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles
on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon --
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

what's that .... the first step is recognizing you have a pattern?

without patterns nature (and life)would be so bland... stripes or polka dots????

Barbara said...

If we could just learn to live in the present moment, we wouldn't need our patterns of behavior. But then, most of us really aren't Buddhists after all. Our patterns simply define who we are, much as does our DNA. Just as impossible as it is to change our DNA, accepting our approach to life is a lot easier than trying to change it.

I've been thinking about dandelions lately as they sprout up in my yard, wondering why I was trained to hate this plant that provides greens for soup and cheerful yellow flowers and by all means to get rid of them before they go to seed and tempt the wind to blow on those puffballs.

Reya Mellicker said...

Cube - wow!! Thank you.

Patterns - well - they're habits, aren't they? And habits are difficult to change.

Also, as Nicolasix has pointed out to me on more than one occasion, substituting a new habit for an old habit doesn't really shift things as much as I sometimes hope.

So yes, Barbara, I agree - mindfulness, the ability to let go, and also to Know thyself - all are really important. I don't think Buddhists expect themselves to be free of all patterns anymore than the rest of us.

Oh well.