With What Hope
did you write your way into paradox,
hands lit by thorns
and the creek
holding marsh marigolds under pines
unimaginable last spring?
this passageway over the swale
where willow tips reach upward,
gather the sap of earth
and visible as soon as we arrive.
Do we belong here?
Merely by walking with bare feet,
and what’s within comes without
In her generosity
she makes herself susceptible
Everything comes to drink with
a winter’s worth of thirst,
parched lips –
and still, she flows.
I fell in love with this wild rose bush over the winter. Finding her was like walking into the promise of one of my favorite poems.
With the help of my loyal photo assistant, Ellen, I’m planning to take photos in this spot over the next few months and watch this rose unfold its “givingness.”
Sometimes it’s these unexplainable little projects that wake me up at night. And I have to follow them. I have to follow the calling of the wild rose.
How it stands out against the darkenings
of the rainy evening, young and pure,
its tendrils arched everywhere in givingness
yet absorbed in its own rose-being;
the shallow flowers, already open here and there,
each unasked for and untended:
thus, immeasurably exceeded by itself
and indescribably self-aroused,
it calls to the wander, who in his evening
meditating comes past along the road:
Oh look at me, see, over here, how safe I am
and unprotected and having all I need.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
“I think it makes a huge difference, when you wake in the morning and come out of your house, whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you, but in a totally different form, and if you go towards it with an open heart and a real, watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you.” — John O’Donohue
all the silent voices speak of
a winter that arrived in the mist of autumn
“Dog is docile, and then forgets. Dog promises then forgets. Voices call him. Wolf faces appear in dreams. He finds himself running over incredible lush or barren stretches of land, nothing any of us has ever seen . . . Dog promises and then forgets, blame him not. The tooth glitters in the ridged mouth. The fur lifts along the spine. He lifts a leg and sprays a radiant mist over a stone, or a dead toad, or somebody’s hat. He understands what is wanted; and tries, and tries again, and it good for a long time, and then forgets.”
— From “Dog Songs” by Mary Oliver
The colors seem especially brilliant this year with all the rain and overcast skies.
More so than any season, in October I feel I’m like going out into a new landscape every morning.
I find that I want to spend as much time as I can outside, even in the rain.
I want to tell you about reaching up
into the apple tree
to pick a wild apple,
when a shower came down from the leaves
and a drop fell on the corner of my right eye
and rolled down my face —
a single tear.