Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No longer young, still half perfect.

Today is a good day to be alive in Washington DC. The moon has turned, the eclipse cycle is over until June. The secular year has turned and we're well past winter solstice. All is new and fresh. The sun is shining and the sky is blue.

Also, it's Tuesday which is my Saturday. I have nothing planned today except for a massage I will receive later this afternoon. The spaciousness of a mostly unplanned day is such a luxury. I'm on the upswing, too, in terms of my dreams. Last night my dreams were only tinged with menacing themes; the nightmares are galloping away at last.

What I'm thinking about this morning is how easy it is to believe, when I'm in the doldrums, that I'll be stuck there forever. It's part of the thought form, I guess. But it's never true, not ever. The return from the mean reds is so joyous. Oh yeah. Happy new year.


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

--Mary Oliver


Tess Kincaid said...

The Mean Reds are all part of life's textures and balances. Love Mary Oliver. Thank you for posting this lovely piece!

Reya Mellicker said...

You're welcome, Tess. Always.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Lovely words. I especially like "learning to be astonished", I feel more and more amazed, astonished and in awe of the world around as I get older, wonderful gift. I also like that last image, captures this delicious winter light beautifully.

The Bug said...

Hmm - when my new kindle comes I just might have to invest in a Mary Oliver book - she writes the kind of poetry I can read & actually take into my life.

I'm glad you're on the upswing. I feel like I am too - & here it is January when I'm usually hunkered down. I blame you - all this thinking you're making me do :)

Linda said...

The winter weather balance is straightening itself out. The snow has finally come to Toronto and Washington DC is looking more like "cherry blossom" season isn't that far away. I love your Mary Oliver selection. I need to work on being astonished. I'll feel more light footed and happy when this cold leaves my bod. Chicken soup was a wonderful suggestion... thank you, Reya.

ellen abbott said...

I guess you just had to give the dream catcher a good thump to get it started.

Jo said...

I LOVE the idea that our work is "mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished." How true for every one of us.

Brava, Reya. Thank you once again for adding insight to my day. I'm so glad your doldrums are being replaced by astonishment at last. Enjoy your weekend!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen - yeah I think it kicked in. Would still love the herbal recipe for good dreams, whenever you have the time to ask.

Jo, thank you. I far prefer astonishment to doldrums, oh yeah!

Jeanette me too and Dana? You always make me laugh.

janis said...

Just fyi for you: www.oohhsnaahhs.com It's a soul food joint and we dont have any here that I know of. So please give a review and let me taste through your lovely photography & words♥

steven said...

reya last night i dreamt that all the doors in the house were rearranged so that none of them shut properly. hurray! they looked like crap but let in more light and sound and scents and stuff! then waking up to the sight of a window filled with air-filling little snow. just enough to cover the ground. then into town for coffee and cards with a friend. small astonishments! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

I hope we're finally pulling into the station as it were, over the hump of moving into the new year.

Interesting dream, Steven. Nice!

Dan Gurney said...

God, Mary Oliver is such a great poet. She always astonishes me with her clarity. It's a good thing not to believe your thoughts, especially the mean red ones. They're projections, that's all.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yep you are so right. We are storytellers, we sure are. Always spinning a new one.

Mary Oliver is great. And being astonished? Completely right and proper, Dan!

Linda Sue said...

Your photo is awesome- wavy buildings! You are such a remarkable artist, Reya- I would love to see the world through your eyes for a day- it would inspire me for the rest of my time on this planet! Glad you kicked the bad dreams out...they have no place there.( I still think you should get a doggie)

Reya Mellicker said...

What? OK now I am astonished. Linda Sue, YOU are such an incredible artist ... but ... you think I am? That is beyond cool. Come visit sometime, please? We'll walk around DC. You'll see exactly what I see, I promise.

Kerry said...

"Still half perfect." What a great phrase. I am so glad to hear that you slept a little better last night.