Monday, April 12, 2010

Poem for Monday

Color equals emotion for me. There was a time in my life I had to have a small red room to sit in. It seemed to get me geared up to spill my guts on stage or on a canvas. My office has a bright clean blue wall. I love walking in here to start a project. The blue helps me feel empty and ready to create fresh work for clients. A chunk of torquoise on my finger, when stared at, mellows me as much as a glass of wine. Accepting the whole spectrum of color is what I'm trying to be aware of emotionally and creatively. Jane Hirshfield's Lake and Maple poem is one I go back to often to understand the incredible beauty and power of this idea.

Lake and Maple
-Jane Hirshfield

I want to give myself
as this maple
that burned and burned
for three days without stinting
and then in two more
dropped off every leaf;
as this lake that,
no matter what comes
to its green-blue depths,
both takes and returns it.
In the still heart that refuses nothing,
the world is twice-born --
two earths wheeling,
two heavens,
two egrets reaching
down into subtraction;
even the fish
for an instant doubled,
before it is gone.
I want the fish.
I want the losing it all
when it rains and I want
the returning transparence.
I want the place
by the edge-flowers where
the shallow sand is deceptive,
where whatever
steps in must plunge,
and I want that plunging.
I want the ones
who come in secret to drink
only in early darkness,
and I want the ones
who are swallowed.
I want the way
the water sees without eyes,
hears without ears,
shivers without will or fear
at the gentlest touch.
I want the way it
accepts the cold moonlight
and lets it pass,
the way it lets
all of of it pass
without judgment or comment.
There is a lake.
Lalla Ded sang, no larger
than one seed of mustard,
that all things return to.
O heart, if you
will not, cannot, give me the lake,
then give me the song. 

Image at the MOMA from naturluv's flickr page.

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