Saturday, April 20, 2013

As it was, and may be again

photo of blossoming pear tree, April 2012
© harrington
Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. As I write this, the morning's  temperature is 17 (about midway above zero, below freezing). Last year, the pear tree was in blossom. This year it's in shock. In several areas in Minnesota, it's lambing time. Imagine the transition shock for those poor little creatures. Thank heavens for barns and body warmth. Speaking of bodies, I bet your mother used to tell you "don't pick at that scab, it'll leave scars." I think of my mother from time to time when I once again start reading and thinking about practicing zen. I've been doing it for years the same way I used to absent-mindedly pick at a scab. If I haven't lost you yet, here's the connections. Today's poem is by someone, Peter Levitt, whose only known (to me) connection to Minnesota is the fact that I, and perhaps some other Minnesotans, have read some of his poems. Further, I found the work below in a book titled "Essential Zen" and the work mentions, inter alia, birth of a lamb. See, isn't that clear now that it's been pointed out?
Either hoeing the garden
or washing bottles at the well,
making soup for a sick man
or listening to someone else's child,
studying books, stacking logs,
writing to the local paper
or pulling that stubborn lamb
into our world, I hear
the song which carries my neighbor
from one thing to the next:
Earth feeds us
out of her empty bowl.
Peter Levitt
Nature and place? Clearly. Trickster? I think he can be found. Look behind the list of actions to find the singer/player of the song. Bear? Perhaps, but lacking a degree or two of ferocity. Science and further science? Is psychology a science or an art? New totems? Earth's empty bowl. Getting the work done, crafty? Look again at the list of work getting done and where the whole poem leaves us. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily in My Minnesota.