Last week it snowed where I was. Quite heavily overnight. Perhaps four inches. Some of which accumulated on the trees, dressing them in a way that I find spectacularly beautiful. I felt a certain awe that reminded me of much childhood and young adult snow from my earlier life in Canada. Last week, by nightfall, most of the snow on the trees in the picture above had melted away, kissed by the sun. That beauty wasn’t meant to be permanent, though I suppose the melting away is a kind of beauty too.
Learning about the ways that life experience is momentary is significant for many of us. In its richest ways, this learning is about a non-permanence. Things change. Relationships. Families. Communities. Emotions. Orientations. Because it’s what is meant to happen. We appear as creatures of permanence, individually and in groups. Yet we are creatures changing all of the time, including the change that is regenerating skin cells to render us with “new skin” every 27 days.
I have known some of these times of non-permanence as loss. I have known some of these as change and evolution. I have not known some of these times at all, unaware — like 27 days of regenerated and sloughed skin.
A while back, thinking of such things, I wrote the poem below. I was trying to feel and understand a certain kind of seduction in the “forever” part of things. I was noticing how I wanted to feel the seduction for comfort, yet at the same time, knowing from a deeper place, that life and the contexts in which we live are much more momentary.
Enjoy. And to welcome some reflection on “momentaryness.”
This place is only a stopping ground, attractive for its illusion of permanence and stability.
This place is most lasting in the awareness that it is only momentary.
There has always been something that I like about stacked wood. I suppose it is the fire-keeper in me. I suppose it is some sense of abundant preparedness. For warmth. For safety. For cooking. I suppose there is something in the simplicity. Chop wood, carry water.
There has aways been something that I like about workin with groups. I suppose it is a simplicity that underlays all of the complexity. I suppose it is a few simple values. Or a few simple truths that change how these groups are together. I suppose I seek the simplicity there also.
Thinking of all of this, I wrote this little poem last week. Seeking the simple. Like stacked wood.
Stay Simple With That
Focus on learning. Welcome inspired learning spaces.
Last night my spouse and I had dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. We shared a fajita. When I reached for a toothpick, I saw an invitation to a King County poetry contest under the theme, “Your Body of Water.” Fifty words or less. Selected entries will be used in a year-long initiative, Poetry on Buses.
I love stuff like that. It’s compelling. Like a rising full moon that you can’t not pay attention to.
I shared the brochure with my spouse, telling her, “you should enter this.” Then I couldn’t help myself. As we drove home, to Little Brook, I scribbled a few words myself that connect water’s flow to human variability. d
Varied, Like All Of Us
Just as my Little Brook
slows to a summer’s bare trickle,
and yet can quickly torrent
to massed tributary of cascading emerald rain,
so flows human life.
It isn’t flawed.
Just like Little Brook,
it is varied.
Like all of us.