Monday Morning Musings:
“We order our lives with barely held stories.”
“I know how to fill in a story from a grain of sand or a fragment of discovered truth. In retrospect the grains of sand had always been there. . .”
–Michael Ondaatje, Warlight: A Novel
“A poet once said, ‘The whole universe is in a glass of wine.’ We will probably never know in what sense he said that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look in glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. . .”
–Richard Feynman, Lectures on Physics, quoted in Brainpickings.
We hold memories, winter to summer
try to put them in sequence in order,
but there are no real boundaries, no border,
all and everything colored by the moment—
and by every second after.
They pile together, memories,
more than accessories, the clothes
tumbled in a heap on the floor,
stories that flow one from the other,
cooked together and through
into a stew–
What is desire? What is true?
Pick out the potato,
a childhood experience here,
the job carrots there,
find the herbs of love. . .
all of the above,
each stew different,
though the same in name,
while it simmers over a flame,
new ingredients added,
not expanded so much, as made richer,
a broader picture.
But one day the flame goes out,
the stew gets tossed, buried, old news,
but the aroma lingers—to flavor other stews.
Now summertime, the days still long
though getting shorter, the sunshine bright,
when not clouded,
parks and beaches crowded
and summertime bounty is everywhere
on tables, and farm stands, and fairs
where people display their colorful wares
And peaches are fragrant and full of juice
that drips down by chin—oh sing a hymn
to summertime produce,
eat it raw or cooked, baked into crumble or pie.
I talk to a friend at a festival to celebrate the butterfly.
There are bees and plants and flowers in bloom
through which insects flitter and above birds zoom,
a little girl dresses the part,
her heart dances as the butterflies dart.
And then there’s wine, made from the fruit
now growing on vines, waiting for harvest
rooted, grapes well-suited
to the clime
to make a beverage sublime.
We sit and sip our wine
dine on paella,
enjoying the weather
We learn about wine in barrels
so much more than shells,
containers to hold the wine,
aging and flavoring it–
we learn to swirl and sniff and taste—admit
we enjoy it. We’ve done this tour before.
Still we learn more, then step out the door
to sit with glass and food—
Call it relaxed and at ease
in a summertime breeze.
I hold moments, tiny, grains of sand
let them trickle from my hand
watch them expand
till there’s a beach
where I can walk and leave a mark,
in the darkness, stark upon the sand
as the sun rises, and the tide
slides over them again and again,
they become part of the sea–
the memories, the fruit, the wine, and the bee–
all what was and what will be,
as summer turns to fall and then winter,
time may splinter
into paths that wander back
elusive, barely there–
the traces of a footfall
or a scent still in the air.