Archive for the ‘existence’ Tag

Bless them all   Leave a comment

I heard this poem by Richard Newman on a podcast of The Writer’s Almanac (read by Garrison Keillor).  I was walking down the street and it brought me to a standstill.   I am guilty.

 

Bless Their Hearts

by Richard Newman

At Steak ‘n Shake I learned that if you add
“Bless their hearts” after their names, you can say
whatever you want about them and it’s OK.
My son, bless his heart, is an idiot,
she said. He rents storage space for his kids’
toys—they’re only one and three years old!
I said, my father, bless his heart, has turned
into a sentimental old fool. He gets
weepy when he hears my daughter’s greeting
on our voice mail. Before our Steakburgers came
someone else blessed her office mate’s heart,
then, as an afterthought, the jealous hearts
of the entire anthropology department.
We bestowed blessings on many a heart
that day. I even blessed my ex-wife’s heart.
Our waiter, bless his heart, would not be getting
much tip, for which, no doubt, he’d bless our hearts.
In a week it would be Thanksgiving,
and we would each sit with our respective
families, counting our blessings and blessing
the hearts of family members as only family
does best. Oh, bless us all, yes, bless us, please
bless us and bless our crummy little hearts.

(“Bless Their Hearts” by Richard Newman, from Domestic Fugues. © Steel Toe Books, 2009.)

What a beautiful humourous capturing of who we really are!

I had never heard of him before so checked him out and found  his website. I really like his style. Deceptively simple and humourous but deep and shocking in the way it captures the truth of existence.  I’m struggling through the Dalai Llama on ‘Becoming Enlightened’ at the moment (and really, struggling is the word).  Newman’s poem ‘Mowing’ made me feel better about ‘the four noble truths’.

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Midsummer silence   Leave a comment

(I lie. It is 23rd June, St John’s Eve,  but this is the ‘real’ midsummer, the truly magical time.)

Just outside London, a steep hillside covered in big field daisies, meadows filled with full-headed field grasses.  In the corners of the field, elder trees just about ready to bring forth their fruit, and blackberry bushes in full bloom with pink-tinted flowers.  Both a hint of berries to come when we move into autumn.

Purple and white clover delicately fragranced. (When we were children we pulled out a single strand from the bloom and sucked the base because our  parents thought it was amusing to tell us this was how bees got honey.)

Wild woodbine (honeysuckle), old-fashioned roses with a fragrance that evokes memories of childhood. Oak leaves (because it is a magical time of the year.) And ferns, massive, jungle-like, primitive, in woodland with sunlight flashing through tall trees.

A tiny woodlouse strolls across the path. The only sound is the wind whispering through the grass. I have a micro-moment of realisation of existence.