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Monday, March 22, 2010
A Prayer, Listening in the Spring
Merwin gives me hope. When I feel like I've wasted too much time. I've started too late. I haven't done enough. I should have committed earlier.
W.S. Merwin was born in 1927. He won his second Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for a book published in 2008. I'm not a big math guy, but that's something like 81 years. And prizes aren't everything, but that book, "The Shadow of Sirius," is one of the best I've experienced ("read" isn't a strong enough word).
I'm not halfway to 80. I'm not grandiose or vain enough to aspire to be a Merwin, but he gives me hope that I've got my best stuff ahead of me. He gives me hope for exploring self and world and the big questions and observations over the long haul. I read his "Migration: New & Selected Poems" like a landmark standing on the rocky trail on the uncharted search for the soul. So I wake up and it's spring now, and I am listening.
It's spring and that means the birds sing in the morning dark, awake and chatting while people sleep. And I am listening.
It's spring and the warm weather and light air lighten my legs running at sunrise. And I am listening.
It's spring and the girls ride their bikes around the neighborhood, wide eyed and windy smiled. And I am listening.
It's spring and our five-year-old, our youngest daughter sleeps sideways across the bed, stretched and she's skinny and longer than she has ever been, no longer a baby. And I am listening.
It's spring and my shoulders and calves lengthen, elongated, smiling through Downward Facing Dog, different than they were yesterday. And I am listening.
It's spring and Robin and I are coming on 15 years spent together, 15 out of not quite 38, and I think of the things we have done and seen and been, together, and what we have yet to do, or see or be, together. And I am listening.
It's spring and my hands are in the dirt again and the sun is warm on my skin and the gardens that we can never sustain or keep up with are full of possibility, waiting to see if this is their year. And I am listening.
It's spring and I think about Mother Teresa's commentary on prayer, that she and God both sit, saying nothing to each other, just listening. And I am listening.