Odd and disconcerting to write poetry and yet be totally unfamiliar with Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry until yesterday, though no alien to M.R.’s poetry and not completely in-the-dark to her biographies and interest in connecting science and poetry, scientific thought and poetry, science and ars poetica? Science and ars anything. Sometimes I am shocked by this thought that is a bucket of ice water emptied on my head: I know nothing.
Time is passing in a blink. A twitch. In the tick of an eon. How will I catch up to all that is literature while trying to create and/or finish my own writing projects?
Summer: poolside, lounging in shade for hours, listening to my friend. She has been near death several times. She, reluctantly, knows a great deal about surviving. She is not a writer, but lives a life writers write about. She is far too young to know all she does about dark sides of universes, yet here she is, carrying on, sharing information, a bright bead on the planet. She is disarmingly optimistic in Solstice sun, gloriously lit, her pond-eyes flickering the lazing twilight back at itself. She is beamy, cheerful and wise. As I listen to her musical voice and watch my son cavort with hers in a swimming pool pounded by waterfalls and wracked with screams, as I glance at my husband conversing animatedly with my friend’s husband, up there in that glowy, faux-rock Jacuzzi, I melt—and stop panicking.
Caution, my friend says. Passion. Live. Love.
A few of her key words.
Later, as the adults cross the grass, following the children racing for toys and food and games inside, the four of us are stopped by 2 hawks crying and dipping only a few feet in front of us, twisting so close and for such an extended few seconds in the last of the light, we are able to comment on their astounding markings as though on a diorama. Hawks in our faces on a pre-Super Moon evening. And suddenly it doesn’t matter what we know or don’t know about anything at all—we are simply ‘I, Witness’ as our breath is taken.
I know a happy family when I see one. I know my fortune and everything good in it began before it’s never too late. I know I will allow another’s poem (any poem, anywhere) to be what it is (vs. what I want it to be or all about me), in all its flaws and perfections: a thing beneath a microscope, living, sealed and seen and pumped into one like blood—O entity—that sort of leading, lasting admiration for an art’s unique product, (okay, I’ll write it) a love (witnessed, experienced, written).