North Adams Open StudiosOctober 15, 2011
Did I tell you I’m reading my poetry on Thursday?November 9, 2011
Today, October 29th, the day I was born.
I take liberty with a selection from Vacillation by William Butler Yeats in honor of this day:My forty-second year had come and gone, I sat, a solitary woman, In my quiet kitchen, an open book and empty cup on the granite countertop While on the backyard and forest I gazed My body of a sudden blazed; And twenty minutes more or less It seemed, so great my happiness, That I was blessed and could bless.
Maybe you’ve had that feeling of blessedness on your birthday, feeling the love that created you, and allowed you to be born. I strive to cultivate that feeling within myself and with how I interact with others, all throughout this year.
I know it will be challenging. I have my shadow side as we all do. But I have faith, too.FAITH The word Faith means when someone sees a dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows That they are, because they have to be. And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes And wished, the wold would still be what it was, And the leaf would still be carried down the river. It means that when someone’s foot is hurt By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks Are here so they can hurt our feet. Look, see the long shadows cast by the tree; And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth: What has no shadow has no strength to live. Czeslaw Milosz, translated by Robert Hass and Robert Pinksy with Renata Gorczynski
My mom said that she remembers a big snow storm that day in 1969, so I like to look at tonight’s storm as a reminder of that day. I had at least eight different ideas for how I wanted to spend the night, but the snow changed all of that, prompting me to look at this new year with the following attitude: Plan as best you can, things will happen beyond your control, yet you can still have a really great time.