Today there is something. After reading Mig who wrote about justifying one's own existence (or not), I was reading Yarnstorm at Jane Brocket's little slice of the world. Jane wrote about the sad news of Elspeth Thompson's death.
Elspeth sort of enchanted me ( and I mean that in the "moved by magic" way it sounds) with her beautiful blogs, books, and columns.
I read a comment left in condolence by arusa that quoted a poem:
Why did you vanish
into the empty sky?
Even the fragile snow,
when it falls,
falls in this world.
- izumi shikibu -
woman poet of the Heian period, Japan
And then another comment that is one of my beautiful Mother's favorite poems by Mary Oliver:
And lastly, I recalled this from Kathleen Raine posted by Elspeth on her own blog here:
I BELIEVE NOTHING
I believe nothing – what need
Surrounded as I am with marvels of what is,
This familiar room, books, shabby carpet on the floor,
Autumn yellow jasmine, chrysanthemums, my mother’s flower,
Earth-scent of memories, daily miracles,
Yet media-people ask, “Is there a God?”
What does the word mean
To the fish in his ocean, birds
In his skies, and stars?
I only know that when I turn in sleep
Into the invisible, it seems
I am upheld by love, and what seems is
Inexplicable here and now of joy and sorrow,
This inexhaustible, untidy world -
I would not have it otherwise.
Elspeth had that extraordinary ability to appreciate and nurture the exquisite in the ordinary and untidy. Sometimes extraordinary skills demand an excruciating sensitivity.
So, to make sense of the painful impermanence of the beautiful we can try words, frail though they be.
I like to look at my child's eyes. From his early days to now they are made of sunflowers and blue skies.
What is enough? Enough to convince us to stay. To see things through. To believe that there is something ahead of us or something right now that requires our presence.
To steady my gaze on the now, I claim the natural world, these eyes, and a quote that I believe originated with Pam Houston in Cowboys Are My Weakness:
"A death wish is a life wish, as love is the flip-side of fear."
And I will not judge another for their own conclusion.