Central Park Walkway Under Snow (21 February 2010)” by Ekabhishek
I had the privilege, if you can call it that–and you can–of shoveling about a foot of snow out of my driveway this morning. Falling snow always provides a rare opportunity to suspend adulthood for a moment, and truly feel a sense of wonder. The pitter-pat of the snowflakes falling on my hood, the distant sound of some piece of machinery, likely being used to dig someone else out from under this heavy, white down of snow. Poets always say that snow falls silently. Perhaps if one’s only experience of the snow is watching it fall from the warmth and comfort of one’s living room, then it might appear to make no sound at all. But, a few minutes spent outside in the midst of a storm will bring forth the hiss of the snow as it passes through layers of small branches and vines that line the yard, and the crackle of each flake as it bounces off a freshly scraped windshield. And, occasionally, the thud of clumped, wet snow slipping from the trees onto the road. Today was particularly special, as it is so near the end of February and I know this snowfall won’t last long. Just a few days ago, our car tires were carving canyons in the mud, the permafrost already relinquishing control to several days of warmer temperatures. After all the hard work was done, I found an untouched area, and flopped myself down, snowangel-style, and just let the flakes fall cold on my nose, my eyes, my lips, like precious, sweet kisses from the clouds. I lay there until I could feel the cold creeping through to my skin. What a wonderful gift, to have these seasons in our lives.
“The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens:
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Lillia in our new house.
I haven’t put much thought, or words, into this blog in probably over a year. Reading back over my previous entries, I was struck by how the trajectory of my life got away from me for awhile, but how I think I have finally caught up to it. It’s a relief, I must say, finally to be able to wind my fingers through that flowing mane of destiny; not quite back on the horse, but I’ve got a hand on it. I’m facing a moment wherein I have the power (and it feels good ) to choose which path that this horse and I will take. I don’t always have the best sense of direction, and sometimes my horse and I get lost in painful brambles or, as of late, become separated in the dark, dense forest of daily life. But, we always find each other again.
Here’s to new beginnings—perhaps now is the time to invest in a saddle . . .
Charles Reznikoff’s “Te Deum”:
Not because of victories
but for the common sunshine,
the largess of the spring.
Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.
Rudolf Steiner says, in the chapter entitled “Facing Karma”, from Anthroposophy in Everyday Life (p.54):
We suffer because with every inner and outer suffering we eliminate one of our faults
and become transformed into something better.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about suffering. I have been thinking a lot about my own challenges in life. I get very frustrated with my situation sometimes, with the choices I make, how things work out. I am very frustrated with my career right now, or lack thereof. I had several recent disappointments in the employment sphere (I have now been passed over TWICE for a job at the Waldorf school), and now I am not sure what I am supposed to do. What once seemed clear-cut, now doesn’t make sense. Things seem to have gotten immensely difficult – and yet – things have never been easier. My current job leaves me with perhaps too much time on my hands, and nothing with which to fill it. But, I was not any happier when I was over-worked and stressed out because I had too much to do, and not enough time! Steiner would most likely say that the wiser being in me led me to this situation, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how I will be transformed. I suppose if I knew that, I wouldn’t need the wiser being! Just some thoughts on karma . . .
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea . . .
—from “Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver
Bedřich Smetana created one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard, “Die Moldau.” I’d like to think that in a former life I was the melancholy brunette in this painting, enraptured by his talents, in love with his song.
What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day – who knows how, but they do it – were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?
~ Mary Oliver
Today is Christmas Eve. It’s been ages since I made any effort at noting notable experiences from my life. I figured while Lil was impatiently waiting for 8 o’clock to arrive (family present time), I would just jot down a few thoughts.
I am thankful for so much this year. I am thankful most of all for love. For being loved, for having love to give, for loving what I do, for loving who I know, for loving myself. The year 2007 was unlike any other in so many respects. It was certainly a searching year, a defining year, a year of dreams crushed while others were realized. This Christmas Eve is the twinkling star of hope at the end of a long journey through a tunnel marked by darkness and fear. I am no stranger to the blackness inside, the desperation.
But, for the first time in probably twenty-six years I am standing outside myself looking at my life and thinking, “That woman is lucky.” I have everything I could possibly have hoped to have by now, and probably a lot more, too. I haven’t done things the traditional way. I seem to be incapable of following that path. But, the choices I have made, wrong or right, have led me to a beautiful place, and I am so happy to be here, with the snow, and the lights, and the gifts, on this cozy Christmas Eve.