Thursdays at The Variegated Life: on the creative life and shipping the goodies …
At the end of the Heart Sutra, we chant the Prajna Paramita mantra: Gate! Gate! Paragate! Parasamgate! Bodhi Svaha! There was a time when these wild words were a great comfort to me: Gone! Gone! Beyond gone! Far beyond gone! Awake, it is so! I was in the midst of my second episode of depression then; it was also when I seriously took up Zen practice. It was comforting to know that there is nothing I can grasp, not even my own depression.
And now? I do not like January, and I do not like snow. We are trying to conceive, and we are failing. And yet I’m mostly happy. In the oblique light of the winter sun, the sky is a different kind of gorgeous every day. And we have a little Critter, changing and growing from moment to moment. “Baa-Baa time” is now, and it’s not going to last forever.
I was going to post something else today, but I didn’t have the time to write it. Time: it just might be the only theme to my poetry. Never enough; where does it go? Or maybe time and love are my themes. And questions. I write to make art out of that which cannot be grasped….
Here’s an old poem, written long before my motherhood.
WHAT I MEAN
Even in my sleep, I’m always
packing bags and rushing
to catch the next train.
I never know
where I’m going, only
that I have to get there, and
there’s never enough
time; I have
too much stuff, and nothing
fits in these bags, already too heavy
for the long distance I’m going.
My dreams say time
when I mean love.
I mean to love them more:
the worn straps of my bags
and my shoulders;
the tree-lined streets
on the way to the station, and the shops
selling coffee, lottery tickets, and bruised fruit;
the dun-colored sparrows that scatter
from the sidewalk as I go.
If I could be still, would they come to me;
would they let me hold
their small bodies, fat from their diet of seeds?
Why do you write, or make whatever you make?