It doesn’t happen often. Mostly I can walk myself away from it.
But it was a persistent morning of blue.
Nothing more to be said. Except that when walking can’t shift things, I go to the only source I trust.
As I was leaving to walk the Camino Mozárabe, one of my ”poem friends” gave me this. It was true on that road, and today, although it isn’t actually true, somehow reading it is enough. I don’t need to meet strangers because I met the poem. And so I am found, just as it foretells.
Poems. The lived experience of others making sense of the world.
This one is by Dorianne Laux…
For The Sake of Strangers
No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.
And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waits patiently for my empty body to pass through.
All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another – a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a retarded child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.
Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must once have called to them –
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall weightless, away from the world.
I’m so grateful poems can find me, and I’m reminded that “blue” is a colour I love.
Maybe I’ll sit with it awhile.
And remember to look up…
That poem won’t be in the Poetica programme. There just wasn’t room for the entire swag! But the ones that found me on the road will be, along with those that made me walk, and some that were written for me.
Please join me in celebrating words, journeys, and the talent of the sound artist, on Radio National. The Poetica programme I wrote and performed is available now for Podcast. I was so lucky to have had such care taken with the making of it.
Details can be found here:
Stop a moment and listen.
It’s like looking up…