On Homesickness. - The second time I went to New England was after a prolonged time in the deep south. My tenure at Louisiana State University had come to a close (relativel...
Sunday, May 25, 2014
And Druids Come Back in Fashion
Birds rarely shut up in the spring. It doesn't matter what time you wake up, their soundtrack is on a loop. Whether or not you are a fan of birdsong might determine what you think of spring.
If birds became quiet, like people can, we would want their noise back. Silence is a place people can find and have trouble coming back from. Frank Bidart says:
When what we understand about
what we are
parts of us fall mute.
And that leaves me quiet. When what we understand about what we are changes, whole parts of us fall mute. And I have had those days. When I am walking through the grocery store looking at other people going by, and wondering, does anyone else feel this way, and then thinking, everyone in here has had some shit to deal with, to work through, and when we pass by each other in the aisles, we don't know the other person's story. He or she might have just found out they have cancer. And not told anyone yet, is picking up dinner and some wine to go have that conversation.
And there are times when if someone asked what's up, I wouldn't have words for it. Things have shifted, but not yet to a place where language has caught up to it.
Jorie Graham contemplates a maybe related change:
We call it blossoming--
the spirit breaks from you and you remain.
Spring is the season for blossoming. I am reminded of it and awed when I am cutting the grass or walking the back yard with a beer. The roses in the back garden weren't there last week and this week, full bloom. Wisteria was bright in our bus stop faces, but now it is green and quiet. Maybe after blossoming, wisteria understands itself differently and falls silent. Until it remembers again, next spring.
Spring is loud. It moves. Change on the outside does not happen quietly. Spring and the soul can also be about renewal, rebirth. Blossoming. And that kind of change, in the spirit, brings on silence. We don't have words. But we are waiting for them to catch up. I like another thought from Graham about that:
from time to time
we need to seize again
the whole language
in search of
Maybe the words we had don't work anymore. Maybe as we change, their meanings change, no longer suffice. Maybe we need to step back and grab up the whole language again, not just the words we've come to rely on. Maybe awesome becomes magnificent and roses become tulips and druids come back in fashion.