Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ellie, at Real Toads, gave us the prompt of a memory bowl, to fill with objects that evoke memories, photograph it, and write a poem about them. I havent done the visual part of the prompt, as my memory bowl is between my ears and full of things that cant be photographed. But I will try to write some down.
A little yellow cottage on Christleton Avenue,
awnings lowered over windows like sleepy eyelids,
smell of sweet peas and of pinks,
water slapping the side of the house,
as Grandma wet down everything
against the summer heat.
Teen angst, no understanding
of what was unsettled within,
a blind puppy of need
bumbling about, untended.
Marriage, which was to be the cure
and was no cure,
spit me out the other side
and then the journey
at long last
walking through fallen leaves
in the West End of Vancouver
realizing that this life, finally,
Crying when I read the words
of the Desiderata:
You are a child of the universe.
No less than the moon and the stars
you have the right to be here.
A brand new concept,
as was the sense of self,
Then Jonathan Livingston Seagull,
learning to soar, alive and free,
first time being me,
This was inevitable.
In my little house full of children
on Ethel Street,
I finally made the home
I had so long been
Laughter, noise, busyness,
a huge summer garden:
happy years, and healing.
More pain watching my children
trying to soar, and crashing
in their turn,
struggling to find footing
in an incomprehensible world.
Holding steady so they had a safe port
to come home to.
Then one huge leap
from desert to ocean
and ten shining golden years of joy
in the home of my spirit.
So much growing is required of us.
Every decade a totally brand new life.
Too many memories for this old gray head
to hold upright on my shoulders.
It keeps wanting to lay itself down
on a pillow,
the better to remember
all those exhilarating and exhausting years.
My memory bowl got filled
to the brim
with laughter, with wonder, with broken hearts,
with lessons learned, with miracles,
with golden friends and messages
from the universe,
with broken trust which taught me to trust myself,
with fear of risk which forced me to take risks,
with a search for love that
taught me to love all people,
with a journey made
and the price I was glad to pay.
In the late afternoon of my journey
memory is what I own most.
I sift through my memory bowl
like a goblet of grapes,
selecting first one, then another,
at will, watching the grainy film blurring on the screen........
those long-gone days, those people
from a gentler time which was,
simultaneously, the harshest time:
one heart's perilous passage
The recipe has always included Sorrow.