Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Celebration on the Barrens

Our good friend P., known to his kids sometimes as S., had a birthday yesterday, a big one.  P. turned 50, and we were very glad to be a part of celebrating him on his big day, for he is a very special good guy.

His choice to celebrate the day was to walk on the Barrens.  This is the great hike from Duncan's Cove to Ketch Harbour out along the granite headlands next to and high above the Atlantic.

It was a blowy day, and we agreed that the sky colour was bright grey.  The sea, as follows naturally, was also grey, though less bright, but highlighted with the bright whiteness of foam around the rocks, spray where the swells were breaking over shoal water, and the driven whitecaps.

In the rock cleft the water was crashing and booming.

It was a colourful group that stopped for a snack.

P. had a celebratory drink.

There was talk of dwarves and wood elves when we made our quiet way through the magic forest.

Two of us tried hard to levitate.

It was great to come around the point and see Sambro Island light in the distance.

And later, after food and gifts and songs, there was a fabulous cheesecake to finish us all off.  Happy day, P., and thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Monday, April 2, 2012

the sweet small clumsy feet of April came

Today I listened to a compilation CD called “When a man loves a woman”, and there were some great renditions including those familiar soulful songs by Percy Sledge and Otis Redding (who’d been loving her too long/to stop now).  And today I decided to add a couple more poems by another man whose lyric love has always moved me.  The first speaks to any of us who have tried to capture in words what cannot be captured, and the second is one of the loveliest extended metaphors I know.

And so, for your reading (and viewing and listening) pleasure, here’s the work of the inimitable lower case edward estlin cummings, known as e. e.  Read first:

If I have made,my lady,intricate

If I have made,my lady,intricate
imperfect various things chiefly which wrong
your eyes (frailer than most deep dreams are frail)
songs less firm than your body's whitest song
upon my mind--if I have failed to snare
the glance too shy--if through my singing slips
the very skilful strangeness of your smile
the keen primeval silence of your hair

--let the world say "his most wise music stole
nothing from death"--
                    you only will create
(who are so perfectly alive)my shame:
lady through whose profound and fragile lips
the sweet small clumsy feet of April came

into the ragged meadow of my soul.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture 
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands 

Here and here and here are links to readings of somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond, the first by a young, probably Israeli, soldier, the second by cummings himself, and the third by a man whose voice I feel I know but whose name I don't.